Modena - Maserati is to return to single seater car championships for the first time since Juan-Manuel Fangio won the 1957 Formula One title, by entering the 2023 Formula E championship, the Italian marque announced on Tuesday.
Maserati will become the first Italian brand to enter the electric world championship.
Maserati's decision is a boost to the championship - first run in 2014 - following last year's title-winning outfit Mercedes EQ announcing that it’s quitting the championship at the end of 2022.
Mercedes' fellow German constructors Audi and BMW left in 2021.
Formula E chairman Alejandro Agag said the announcement was probably one of the greatest days in the history of the championship. "To have a brand as iconic as Maserati, with the racing heritage... come into the electric revolution that we are pushing is really an incredible moment for Formula E."
The Modena-based marque is part of Stellantis, formed last year by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and France's PSA, and has already announced that all its models will have electric versions by 2025.
"We are very proud to be back where we belong as protagonists in the world of racing," said Maserati CEO Davide Grasso in a statement. "We have a long history of world-class excellence in competition, and we are ready to drive performance in the future."
Grasso told reporters Maserati had been working for a year with Formula E on plans for a return to the racetrack for the first time since 2010 when it competed in the GT1 sportscar championship.
The FIA-sanctioned city-based Formula E series will be starting its ninth season next year with a third generation (Gen3) car billed as the world's most efficient and capable of reaching speeds of 320km/h.
Nissan, Jaguar, Porsche, Mahindra, DS and China's Nio are the manufacturers so far signed up for 2023, when a $13 million cost cap will be in place. McLaren also has an option.
Grasso promised details soon on how Maserati would participate.
"Formula E will be our technological laboratory to accelerate the development of high-efficiency electrified powertrains and intelligent software for our road sports cars," said Stellantis' motorsport head Jean-Marc Finot.
Grasso said racing was key to the rebuilding of Maserati, and other steps would follow.
An eventual return to Formula One, where Stellantis is active with the Sauber-operated Alfa Romeo team, was not excluded.
AFP & Reuters