The complex hybrid engines of the latest Formula 1 cars mean selling them to private buyers is too costly
Sam Sheehan
29 November 2016

Ferrari won’t sell its retired 2014, 2015 or 2016 F1 cars to private buyers, because their complex hybrid drivetrains are too costly to run.

Speaking to Autocar at the preview event of Ferrari World Barcelona, F1 test driver Marc Gené said the 1.6-litre engines and accompanying hybrid electric motors of the latest cars aren’t financially viable to keep running.

“They are just too difficult to maintain,” he said. “Just to fly them over, the battery needs some extra safety requirements for the plane. To run, the current engines are very advanced but so expensive.”

Conversely, the 2013 cars, which are currently on sale, use naturally aspirated 2.4-litre V8 engines with smaller electric motor units, while earlier powertrains from the pre-hybird era used just V8 or V10 engines. Those cars were comparably simple to run, meaning Ferrari could sell them to customers and run them for a profit.

“At the moment we are selling the 2013 car, but it could well be that those are the last Ferrari [F1] cars to be sold,” continued Gené. “That’s why the Formula 1 price is going up, because the market is what it is.”

Our Verdict

Ferrari F12tdf

Because the F12's 730bhp wasn't enough: Ferrari's limited-run F12tdf comes with more power, less weight and a radical rear-wheel steer system

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • MG 3 Exclusive 2018 review static front
    17 August 2018
    First Drive
    Aggressively priced supermini steps up interior game, but lacks performance...
  • BMW M5 2018 long-term review hero front
    17 August 2018
    First Drive
    We rate the new F90 generation M5 as best in class. Will we think the same...
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2018 road test review hero front
    17 August 2018
    Car review
    The new version of the big 4x4 is now Volkswagen’s flagship model. Is the...

Ferrari sells its cars via its Corse Clienti programme and offers owners hospitality at circuits for driving days with a full team of mechanics to run their machines.

Join the debate

Comments
3

29 November 2016
The 1.6 litre engine on it's own is still pretty powerful so surely they could just remove all the hybrid parts and leave it with just the internal combustion engine.

29 November 2016
Who cares about originality? At least the cars would sound great and keep running - a reminder perhaps of how f1 used to be...

29 November 2016
Since the rules banning testing came into force a few years ago, the teams have all been building far fewer cars each year anyway. Back in the mid-2000s, Ferrari was building about 15 chassis per year; now the teams might build five if they really need to or have damaged cars during the season.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Our Verdict

Ferrari F12tdf

Because the F12's 730bhp wasn't enough: Ferrari's limited-run F12tdf comes with more power, less weight and a radical rear-wheel steer system

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • MG 3 Exclusive 2018 review static front
    17 August 2018
    First Drive
    Aggressively priced supermini steps up interior game, but lacks performance...
  • BMW M5 2018 long-term review hero front
    17 August 2018
    First Drive
    We rate the new F90 generation M5 as best in class. Will we think the same...
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2018 road test review hero front
    17 August 2018
    Car review
    The new version of the big 4x4 is now Volkswagen’s flagship model. Is the...