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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Banning tyre heaters at Le Mans an “unsafe” alternative, say Ferrari WEC drivers

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Groups throughout each Hypercar and LMGT3 classes won’t be allowed to artificially warmth their tyres within the blue riband spherical of the World Endurance Championship on 15-16 June as per the up to date sporting rules for 2024.

The WEC had initially imposed an outright ban on tyre heaters at the beginning of final season as a consequence of environmental causes, however it was lifted on a one-off foundation for Le Mans following a spate of crashes on chilly tyres on the earlier race at Spa.

Whereas organisers Car Membership de l’Ouest and the FIA thought-about giving groups the identical exemption once more at La Sarthe this yr, significantly as a bit of the race takes place in very low temperatures at evening, it was finally determined to maintain the ban in place for all eight rounds of WEC 2024.

“In my view, it’s a dangerous alternative, unsafe and never helpful in any respect, so it’s not Positive,” he advised Autosport. 

“I do not assume it is a bonus, even if we’ve proven that we’re amongst those that heat the tyres higher, so it might additionally work in our favour. 

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“You threat very critical accidents and I do not assume it provides something to the competitors.”

#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P of Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Miguel Molina, who drives the sister #50 Ferrari together with Antonio Fuoco and Nicklas Nielsen, believes the rulemakers ought to rethink the choice to ban tyre heaters at Le Mans due to the dangers concerned.

“That is one thing we’re involved about,” Molina advised Autosport. “We now have seen previously that it’s not straightforward and we must be very cautious as a result of there’s a threat of shedding the race instantly. 

“In my view, we should always rethink as a result of then the protection is just not 100% there.” 

Giovinazzi expects placing temperature into the tyres with none synthetic support to be a significant problem at Le Mans and confused that groups are involved concerning the influence of the brand new guidelines on night-time driving.

“Will probably be one of many largest difficulties as a result of final yr we began with heat tyres, whereas in 2024 we’ve not but confronted races with low temperatures that would make us expertise these circumstances,” he mentioned in an interview with Autosport.

“Going through the evening with chilly tyres will probably be fairly difficult, it is an unknown and a priority all of us have – drivers and groups.”

Le Mans success extra necessary after disappointment at Imola, Spa 

Ferrari heads to Le Mans after two irritating outcomes at Imola and Spa, two races the place it arguably had the quickest automotive in your entire Hypercar subject.

#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P of Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P of Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

Photograph by: Marc Fleury

A choice to delay the change to moist tyres price it a probable house victory in Italy, whereas the AF Corse-run manufacturing unit squad was unfortunate to be caught out by the timing of the purple flag in Belgium. 

Ferrari even protested the results of the Spa WEC round because it questioned the stewards’ resolution to restart the race after the unique 19:00 end time, however its problem was dismissed below the FIA’s worldwide sporting code.
Following the opening three rounds, the 2 Ferrari crews sit fifth and ninth within the drivers’ standings, dealing with an enormous deficit to the points-leading #6 Porsche trio of Laurens Vanthoor, Andre Lotterer and Kevin Estre.

Given the state of affairs, Pier Guidi mentioned the double points-scoring Le Mans spherical is now much more essential for Ferrari’s hopes of successful the 2024 WEC title.

“In 2023 we had been the outsiders and it was not identified precisely what end result we might obtain,” he mentioned. “We knew we had a aggressive automotive, however so many doubted the reliability. 

“As of as we speak there’s extra consciousness of the capabilities of this automotive, as an instance there’s extra anticipation, however like final yr all of us begin from the identical level and Le Mans could be very tough to win, in all probability the hardest 24-hour race there’s, with so many producers concerned. 

“To date the automotive has confirmed to be aggressive, though we’ve picked up a lot lower than we might have [in 2024]. 

“For the championship, it’s a sore level, however fortunately there are lots of factors up for grabs at Le Mans, so it is going to be much more necessary to do properly at la Sarthe.”

Extra quotes from Beatrice Frangione

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