BMW M Motorsport has signed Swiss-Italian driver Raffaele Marciello as a works driver starting with the 2024 season, after spending several seasons as a works driver with Mercedes-AMG.
Marciello was hugely successful as a GT driver with Mercedes-AMG from 2018 through this season. He won the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe championship in 2022 and 2023 and won the ADAC GT Masters championship in 2022. He’s won some big races as well, winning the 24 Hours of Spa-Franchorchamps, the FIA GT World Cup in Macau (China) in 2019 and 2023, and the Intercontinental GT Challenge race at Indianapolis in 2022.
Before getting into GT racing, Marciello was on the path to a Formula 1 drive. He started in karting and Formula Abarth before moving into the FIA Formula 3 series, where he won the Euro championship in 2013. He also competed in the single-seater GP2 series and was a reserve and test driver for the Sauber Formula 1 team in 2015.
It is likely that Marciello will be one of the drivers in the BMW M Team WRT Hypercar program in the FIA WEC championship (which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans), as well as drive in select GT endurance races. One of the primary reasons that Marciello left Mercedes-AMG for BMW is because he wants to move up to the top class of prototype racing and compete in the top class at Le Mans, and Mercedes-AMG does not have a prototype program, or even have one in the works. Marciello also had discussions with Lamborghini before signing with BMW.
Head of BMW M Motorsport Andreas Roos is looking forward to having Marciello on the roster for 2024. “When you have the opportunity to sign a top-caliber driver like him, you must seize it,” he said. “He has consistently demonstrated his prowess for years, particularly in GT cars. But there is much more to him. Before his GT career, Raffaele Marciello showcased his class multiple times in open-wheel racing. In our view, he brings the perfect all-around package with his versatility to further strengthen our already high-quality roster of works drivers. The multitude of racing programs we will undertake in the coming years with our cars provides diverse deployment opportunities.” —David Haueter
[Photo courtesy BMW]