Maserati will return to top-flight international motorsport in Formula E in 2023, to help showcase the planned electrification of its revamped road car range.
The firm will join fellow Stellantis brand DS in the all-electric single-seater championship, and will be the first Italian manufacturer on the grid. Maserati’s entry will coincide with Formula E’s new Gen3 rules package.
It is understood that Maserati will partner an existing Formula E team, similar to the title-winning DS and Techeetah partnership. It is likely that Maserati will use rebadged DS powertrains. The French brand, which has won multiple Formula E titles, has also committed to the Gen3 rules.
Maserati’s Formula E entry – its first international motorsport programme since the MC12 dominated the FIA GT Championship from 2004 until 2010 – will help showcase the electrification of its road car range. The firm is currently revamping its line-up, including the Maserati MC20 supercar, the forthcoming new Grecale SUV and the next-generation Granturismo and Grancabrio.
Starting with the MC20, Maserati will eventually offer a battery-electric model of every new machine it launches.
When Maserati boss Davide Grasso launched the MC20 and outlined a wider brand revamp in 2020, he highlighted that motorsport was “in the brand’s DNA”, and promised a return to the racing circuits.
Speaking about the Formula E entry, Grasso said: “We are very proud to be back where we belong as protagonists in the world of racing.”
Stellantis motorsport boss Jean-Marc Finot added: “Maserati Formula E will be our technological laboratory to accelerate the development of high-efficiency electrified powertrains and intelligent software for our road sports cars.”
Maserati’s commitment is also a major boost to Formula E following the withdrawal of Audi and BMW at the end of last season and Mercedes following suit this year.
Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the new president of motorsport governing body the FIA, called Maserati’s entry “testament to the overwhelming faith in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship’s future as we prepare to usher in the next era. The new Gen3 single-seater will represent the pinnacle of sustainability, technology and performance.”
Maserati has a long history in motorsport, starting with the Tipo 26 that claimed a class victory in the 1926 Targa Florio. The firm enjoyed considerable success in pre-war grand prix racing, and ran a works team in the Formula 1 World Championship from 1950 until 1957. The squad took nine race wins in that time, with Juan Manuel Fangio winning the 1957 crown in a 250F (Fangio also drove a 250F in two races in his title-winning '54 season, but spent the bulk of the year driving a Mercedes).
After withdrawing its factory team, Maserati continued to supply engines to Formula 1 teams into the 1960s. The firm also competed in endurance racing.
Following a long motorsport hiatus in the 1970s, Maserati dabbled in touring cars in the late 1980s, but its next high-profile motorsport campaign came with the MC12 from 2004 until 2010. The machine dominated the FIA GT Championship but was ineligible to compete in the higher-profile GT class at the Le Mans 24 Hours.