The Formula E electric single-seater racing series will see a new manufacturer join its grid next year. The Italian car company Maserati is figuring out its place in an electrified world, with a battery electric coupe, convertible, and SUV on the way—a range within a range called Folgore. And it has decided that an electric racing program would be a perfect accompaniment to that plan.
That’s good news for Formula E, which has seen a number of German OEMs leave in recent seasons, including the 2021 championship-winning Mercedes-EQ team. Maserati is not quite Ferrari—Formula E has never made a secret of its desire to get that brand into the series, something rejected by then-Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne—but it’s certainly the next-best thing. Now, one of the oldest names in racing is returning to single-seater competition with the introduction of the Gen3 car for the 2023 season.
“We are very proud to be back where we belong as protagonists in the world of racing,” said Maserati CEO Davide Grasso. “We have a long history of world-class excellence in competition, and we are ready to drive performance in the future. In the race for more performance, luxury, and innovation, Folgore is irresistible, and it is the purest expression of Maserati. That’s why we decided to go back to racing in the FIA Formula E World Championship, meeting our customers in the city centers of the world, taking the Trident forward into the future.”
Maserati’s last single-seater championship was a good one; it was Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1957 Formula 1 season. Although comparing racing drivers from different eras is impossible, it’s not hyperbole to describe Fangio as the best of his generation. And 1957 was a great year for the Argentinian, including a legendary drive at the Nürburgring. More recently, Maserati’s last factory racing program was in the GT1 category with the Ferrari Enzo-derived MC12.