Ye joins Ferrari as factory driver ahead of expected AF WEC drive

The news follows last week’s announcement that he has left Porsche’s stable, having previously been nominated as a ‘Selected Driver’ by its Asia Pacific motorsport arm.

He most recently drove a Porsche 963 LMDh entered by the German marque’s customer team Jota in WEC’s Hypercar class this year, but wasn’t included in the British outfit’s expanded line-up of two cars for 2024.

Ye’s exact plans for next season will be revealed by Ferrari at a later date, but he is likely to drive the third 449P LMH fielded by AF Corse on a customer basis in 2024.

This would see him team up again with former Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica, with the two previously having won the 2021 European Le Mans Series title together with Louis Deletraz.

No spots are available in Ferrari’s factory LMH roster, with the Italian manufacturer expected to continue with the same six drivers across its two works cars.

 “When I heard I would be an official Ferrari driver, I was thrilled,” said the Chinese driver. “For me, this is a dream come true. This new sporting chapter opening with the Prancing Horse is definitely a milestone in my career.”

#38 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche 963: Antonio Felix Da Costa, Will Stevens, Yifei Ye

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

#38 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche 963: Antonio Felix Da Costa, Will Stevens, Yifei Ye

Kubica has so far been the only driver announced by AF Corse, which also operates the factory Ferrari LMH squad, for the 2024 season.

Ye and Robert Shwartzman, who got to sample the Ferrari LMH in the Bahrain rookie test last month, are expected to complete the line-up of the #83 499P next year.

Antonello Coletta, Global Head of Endurance and Corse Clienti said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Yifei to Ferrari, a driver who despite his young age has been able to emerge as one of the fastest in the World Endurance Championship. 

“Excellent results stand out in Yifei’s endurance racing career: from this starting point, we’re confident that we can build a positive pathway together within the Prancing Horse family.”

Only competing in the final five of the seven rounds of the 2023 season due to the late delivery of the customer Porsche 963, Ye secured a best result of fourth in the Bahrain finale together with Jota team-mates Will Stevens and Antonio Felix da Costa.

The trio were in the running for the final spot on the podium, with Ye being denied third place by his future employer Ferrari.

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