Skip advert
Advertisement

Maserati plans return to Formula One

The Maserati Trident could be set to return to F1 for the first time since the 1950s as the brand plans to take over naming rights for Haas

Maserati returns to F1

Italian premium carmaker Maserati could return to Formula One as early as next year, taking over naming rights for the Haas team.

Sources insist Sergio Marchionne, who is CEO of both Ferrari and Maserati’s parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is preparing to send the Modena brand back to the Formula One fray for the first time in nearly 60 years.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The deal will give Haas, the sport’s only US team, its first major sponsor after two self-funded years in the sport, with Maserati paying a rumoured €20 million a season to paint its Trident on dark blue engine covers.

Effectively, the deal would pay all of Haas’s Ferrari V6 powertrain costs. Like Alfa Romeo’s sponsorship of perennial back marker, Sauber, it would effectively see Maserati paying Ferrari €20 million a season, via Haas. The Maserati-Haas outfit will be the fourth “Italian” team on the 2018 Formula One grid, though only Toro Rosso and Ferrari will actually be based in the country.

Maserati Ghibli facelift - Maserati badge

There is another connection that could be useful to Maserati, with the Haas chassis development and construction contracted to Maserati’s near neighbor (and sometimes collaborator), Dallara, while the team also leases wind-tunnel time from Ferrari.

Far from following through with its threat to withdraw from Formula One, Ferrari seems to be doubling down on the sport at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ expense, creating a three-team voting bloc against the FIA’s proposed changes to its 2019 engine regulations.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Both Haas and Sauber already ran Ferrari powertrains, though only Haas used a current powertrain this season as the cash-strapped Sauber fought on with a 2016 power unit. The new deals will see both teams use current Ferrari powertrain developments, paid for by Ferrari’s former owners, FCA.

Haas F1 VF-17

Maserati has been contacted for an official comment, but its spokespeople knew nothing of the deal.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Speaking to PlanetF1.com after the Alfa Romeo-Sauber deal, Marchionne hinted that his Formula One deal-making might not be over.

“Is it possible for the Haas arrangement to turn into something other than what we have today? The answer is potentially ‘yes’,” he said

“But we’re very far away from a resolution on that matter, but it’s possible. We’ll see, time will tell.”

Maserati's F1 history

The Maserati brand has a glorious Formula One history, albeit a long time ago, with the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio winning its last of its two driver’s championships in a 250F in 1957.

It has nine Grand Prix wins to its credit, all in the post-war 250F that was still a Formula One force in private hands into 1960 and helped Maria Teresa de Fillipis become the first woman to race in Formula One Grand Prix in 1958.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The 250F was also entered grands Prix by private teams after the demise of the factory team and saw action in the hands of World Champions like Sir Jack Brabham, Phil Hill and Mike Hawthorn, along with other big-name racers Carroll Shelby, Masten Gregory, Roy Salvadori and Jo Bonnier.

Its last official efforts in Formula One were as an engine supplier to the British Cooper team, whose V12-powered Cooper-Maserati T81 won the Mexican and South African grands Prix with John Surtees and Pedro Rodriguez in 1966 and 1967.

Advertisement - Article continues below

It also has two Indianapolis 500 wins to its credit, with Wilbur Shaw dominating in both 1939 and 1940 in a supercharged, straight-eight 8CTF. He was leading in the same car in 1941, too, but a badly fitted wheel broke and the crash ended his career. 

Maserati’s driving roster is a Who’s Who of the early years of the Formula One World Championship, including Fangio, double world champion Alberto Ascari, Louis Chiron (of Bugatti Chiron fame), Stirling Moss and Peter Collins.

While its chequered financial history kept it out of the sport in the 1970s and 1980s, former Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo fought furiously against Maserati involvement in single-seater racing. Its closest call was as naming rights engine provider for the failed A1 championship, though di Montezemolo torpedoed that deal at the 11th hour.

It made a serious tilt at the Le Mans 24 Hour race, with Ferrari’s full approval, but the long-bodied MC12 hypercar failed to pass the “spirit of the regulations” test of the governing body, the ACO.

It consoled itself by using the glorious-looking, Enzo-based V12 to dominate the FIA GT championship for the first decade of this century, winning five team titles in a row from 2005 and four drivers’ championships, then using the same car to win the FIA GT1 title in 2010.

Maserati has seen its sales boom since it was fully reabsorbed into the FCA fold from Ferrari management, with sales growing from below 10,000 a year less than a decade ago to more than 42,000 last year on the back of its first SUV, the Levante.

What do you think of Maserati's move back into F1? Let us know in the comments...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Super-luxury Maserati electric SUV to arrive in 2027
Maserati badge
News

Super-luxury Maserati electric SUV to arrive in 2027

The Italian firm plans to make its cars more luxurious than ever
30 Jan 2024
Jeep Wagoneer S set to lead new STLA Large models from Stellantis brands Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Maserati
Jeep Wagoneer S
News

Jeep Wagoneer S set to lead new STLA Large models from Stellantis brands Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Maserati

Stellantis' new STLA Large platform can support electric cars with a range of up to 500 miles, and 0-62mph times of around two seconds
19 Jan 2024
New Maserati MCXtrema hypercar to be unveiled 18 August
Maserati Project24 - front
News

New Maserati MCXtrema hypercar to be unveiled 18 August

Public debut imminent for MC20-based track-only hypercar
2 Aug 2023
New Maserati Levante V8 Ultima to be revealed at Goodwood
Maserati Levante V8 - side
News

New Maserati Levante V8 Ultima to be revealed at Goodwood

Special edition super SUV will showcase Maserati’s final V8
12 Jul 2023

Most Popular

Skoda Scala vs Citroen C4 2024 twin test: which is the best-value family hatchback?
Skoda Scala and Citroen C4 - front tracking
Car group tests

Skoda Scala vs Citroen C4 2024 twin test: which is the best-value family hatchback?

The revised Skoda Scala takes on Citroen’s C4 in the battle to be the best-value family hatchback
18 May 2024
Cheap EV charging comes to public chargepoints via new ‘Plunge Pricing’ app
Octopus Energy’s Electroverse
News

Cheap EV charging comes to public chargepoints via new ‘Plunge Pricing’ app

Octopus’ ‘Plunge Pricing’ events promise to save electric car drivers an average of £6.50 per charge
17 May 2024
Car Deal of the Day: Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Electric at an unbeatable £201 a month
Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer front cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Electric at an unbeatable £201 a month

Our Deal of the Day selection for 18 May will appeal to those who want an all-electric family car that’s not a SUV
18 May 2024