x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

For Sale: Used Ferrari F1 racing cars for Middle East's elite

Motor enthusiasts in the Middle East can now buy a Ferrari F1 car to race on tracks around the world.

Motor enthusiasts in the Middle East can now buy a Ferrari F1 car to race on tracks around the world.
Motor enthusiasts in the Middle East can now buy a Ferrari F1 car to race on tracks around the world.

It is not your classic advert for a used car - one not very careful owner, zero to 100kph in less than two seconds, only one seater and a top speed of 330kph.

As absurd as this advert actually sounds, it is exactly what Ferrari is now offering customers in the Middle East.

The F1 Clienti programme gives enthusiasts the chance to buy an old Formula 1 car and race it on tracks around the world at specific events, with the help of trained drivers, engineers and mechanics.

"With the F1 Clienti programme, the driving courses and owner clubs, there there is now a 360 degree experience with Ferrari in the region," says Pietro Innocenti, general manager of Ferrari for the Middle East and Africa. "This has been the DNA of mature markets, now its time for the Middle East and Africa to have the all these experiences that are part of the brand."

F1 cars from 1970s onwards are available for purchase and there is a two-year moratorium for cars after they finish being used professionally on the F1 circuit.

Ferrari enthusiasts around the world have already bought previous championship-winning cars or those used by highly successful drivers, such as Michael Schumacher.

"Of course you are not allowed to drive one of these cars without the assistance of a team mechanic and engineer," said Mr Innocenti. "F1 Clienti give you have a shake down, so you understand the basic technique of driving F1 and then you have a series of events in different places where you are able to drive these cars on F1 racetracks."

Buyers own and keep the cars, but the F1 Clienti team manage and maintain them during race events.

The programme is aimed at Ferrari's clients who are ultra high net worth individuals.

The Middle East and Africa now accounts for about 8 per cent of the total sales of Ferrari cars, having doubled from 4 per cent in 2006. The brand sold 150 cars in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai last year.

It has become a key market for the brand, having launched its first theme park in Abu Dhabi and rolled out some of the largest Ferrari merchandise stores in the world in the UAE.

Global revenues increased last year by 7.9 per cent to 1.9 billion euros, as Ferrari delivered 6,461 cars to customers around the world.

The brand has also launched its Ferrari Approved scheme in the Middle East, where customers can buy a second-hand Ferrari after it has undergone a series of checks.

Ferrari joins a host of other luxury car makers offering such schemes in the UAE, including Rolls-Royce and Bentley.