OH, the power of the tweet.
Just 140 characters long, they have the power to have significant real-world effects despite their diminuative size (just ask Samsung!)
From the department of ‘innocuous-tweets-causing-overreactions’, comes this effort from Ferrari’s North America PR rep, Efrain Olivares.
At the end of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on the weekend, Olivares had a bit of fun with the post-race press conference (where Ferrari landed podiums in both GTE-Pro and Am).
“You heard it here first: Townsend Bell confirms Scuderia Corsa Ferrari LMP-1 program for 2017 during Le Mans press conference,” he tweeted.
Despite immediately following the ‘confirmation’ up with a tweet making clear it was a joke (“I wonder how many people will think that was serious?” he added), the tweet-geist appeared to have overlooked Olivares’ disclaimer.
I wonder how many people will think that was serious.— Efrain Olivares (@RacerEfrain) June 19, 2016
It was enough to send the rumour mill flying, with a number of websites running with the tweet as proof the rumours were true.
However, much to our dismay at Wheels, there is no truth to the claims. It was all just a bit of Twitter fun which got way out of hand.
To be fair though, the rumours of a Ferrari LMP1 effort have been swirling for a number of years.
First there was Fernando Alonso stoking the flames saying he would like to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans at a time when he still competed for the Scuderia Formula 1 team.
“It would be nice to actually take part on track one day,” Alonso said. I often speak with President [Luca di] Montezemolo and, while the priority remains winning again in Formula 1, an interesting format like Le Mans is worth keeping an eye on too.”
This was given more merit when Ferrari didn’t rule the possibility out when responding to rumours.
“There's nothing to stop Ferrari upping the ante and competing in both disciplines,” a 2014 statement read.
Throw in the wild LMP1-esque test mule spied running around the same time, and you have the perfect storm for a rumour like this to gain traction.
But alas, it seems that those hanging out for Ferrari to have a crack at outright victory at Le Mans will have to wait a bit longer.