Ferrari confirms deal with A1GP
Confirming rumors of the past several days, Ferrari has announced that it has entered into a six year agreement with A1GP World Cup of Motorsport to supply engines to the series, commencing with next year’s season. The agreement makes A1GP essentially a Ferrari spec series. In addition to supplying engines, Ferrari will also participate in the design of the next A1GP chassis, which will be introduced in the 2008/2009 season. The company will also both supply engines and consult on chassis design for an A2GP series, which is to begin in 2009. That, too, will be a single-seat series.
A1’s chairman, Tony Teixeira, expressed delight at the agreement:
“Partnering with a world-class organization like Ferrari will officially position A1GP as one of the most significant Motorsport series’ in the world. Ferrari will add significant value to our brand and in our opinion there is no better partner to progress the series. We will be meeting with our commercial partners over the next few weeks to discuss the multitude of exciting opportunities that this partnership presents.
“Ferrari has a global presence through its dealer network. We will be working closely with them to ensure that they are a part of every A1GP World Cup of Motorsport event.”
According to reports by Autosport, the forthcoming A1GP chassis will be based upon Ferrari’s current Formula One chassis. The chassis is to be modified, however, to assure a good show with lots of passing. According to Teixeira, the current chassis would not allow enough passing to make for good racing:
“We will always have cars that will overtake each other, that’s most important to us. F1 cars in their current format aren’t going to do that for us. Obviously Ferrari has to start somewhere in designing our car, and we have agreed that it will start off looking like the F2007 Ferrari. But it will have to accommodate the bigger engine, so it will have a different back and some how will keep something of what A1 looks like today. I honestly believe that with Ferrari designers it will be an incredible looking car."
Teixeira was almost gloating in the significance of the deal to the series, suggesting that it proves the series has staying power: We are sick and tired of critics telling us we are not going to be around next year. This shows that someone like Ferrari has actually seen the huge potential of what A1 can actually pick up."