Ferrari an Italian automaker has partnered with veteran Italian yacht racer Giovanni Soldini to design and build a racing yacht bearing the illustrious Ferrari name. This venture maks Ferrari’s into competitive sailing.
Unlike Formula 1 rivals Mercedes and Red Bull, Ferrari’s step into sailing is not driven by a desire to find alternative roles for surplus Formula 1 employees.
Instead, the impetus comes from Ferrari’s road car division in Maranello, with no direct connection to its Formula 1 operations. Ferrari plans to leverage its technological expertise to create a racing yacht.
Giovanni Soldini, a seasoned Italian yacht racer with an impressive track record, has been appointed as the team principal for Ferrari’s sailing project.
Soldini, having concluded an 11-year partnership with Maserati, brings experience in endurance racing, including transatlantic events and record-setting feats.
Ferrari’s sailing project addresses the use of technologies throughout the entire design and engineering process.
The company envisions that the pursuit of maximum performance at sea will lead to innovations with concrete solutions for sustainability.
Ferrari has not disclosed specific details about the racing yacht, leaving fans and the sailing community in anticipation.
The lack of information regarding the craft’s design, specifications, and targeted competitions is an air of mystery to Ferrari’s ambitious effort.
While Red Bull and Mercedes have ventured into America’s Cup programs, contributing Formula 1 technology to yachting endeavors, Ferrari clarifies that its sailing project is not at accommodating Formula 1 employees affected by budget constraints.
Ferrari says that the initiative involves both existing staff from the road car division and new hires, showing an effort independent of Formula 1’s budget cap restrictions.
Ferrari Chairman John Elkann expressed about the new challenge, stating that it will expand the company’s racing soul.
Soldini, the appointed team principal, shares Elkann’s excitement about the project, describing it as an important and cutting-edge with technological potential.
Soldini addresses the collaborative effort involved in researching and developing innovative solutions that respect the environment.
His experience in solo and crewed ocean racing positions him as a valuable asset in steering Ferrari’s sailing venture.
Ferrari’s entry into sailing is not its first encounter with water-related efforts. In the 1950s, Enzo Ferrari supplied a 4.5-liter V12 engine to Achille Castoldi, who set a speed record on a boat using the engine.
In the 1990s, Ferrari collaborated with Riva to create the Riva Ferrari 32 speedboat. The sailing project, however, appears to involve hydrofoils, showing a more advanced and modern approach to maritime competition.
Ferrari has showed images and videos on its social media platforms, hinting at the development of a hydrofoil sailboat.
The teaser video shows a glimpse of a hydrofoil sailboat emerging from the water, creating speculation among fans and industry experts.
The competitions in which Ferrari’s sailing yacht will participate remain undisclosed. Speculations range from traditional offshore races to entries in prestigious events like the America’s Cup.
Given Ferrari’s focus on technology, the yacht may be designed to compete in high-performance categories.
Red Bull and Mercedes have previously combined Formula 1 technology with yacht racing, with figures like Adrian Newey and James Allison contributing to America’s Cup projects.
Ferrari’s sailing venture, however, appears distinct, addressing its independent pursuit of technological innovation without direct links to Formula 1.
Ferrari won its last Formula 1 driver’s championship in 2007 and the constructor’s title in 2008. In recent years, the company has expanded its racing activities, making a successful return to racing and winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023 after nearly 60 years.