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Sunday, February 25, 2024

“Tough” for WEC Hypercar newcomers “to win straight off”

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The Italian constructor this 12 months returns to top-flight prototype racing with a fully-fledged manufacturing facility programme for the primary time in 50 years, fielding a pair of 499Ps within the WEC after being lured by its new Le Mans Hypercar laws.

Ferrari’s observe file of 9 outright wins at Le Mans 24 Hours, coupled with its success in System 1 and the WEC’s now-defunct GTE Professional class, means it faces a whole lot of strain to copy its success on its step as much as the highest division.

To arrange for its first manufacturing facility assault on the Circuit de la Sarthe since 1973, Ferrari has put the 499P via strenuous situations at all kinds of race tracks, together with the Sebring Worldwide Raceway that can host the opening spherical of the season on 17 March.

Nevertheless, Calado believes it’s arduous to gauge the place Ferrari stands simply but, and it’s unrealistic to anticipate it to be ready to combat for outright success in 2023 given the form of competitors it’s going up in opposition to within the 13-car Hypercar area.

“Every little thing is a little bit of unknown,” mentioned the Briton, who will share the #51 automotive with Alessandro Pier Guidi and Antonio Giovinazzi.

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“We do not know the place we’re, however I believe the expectation is to see the place we’re from the primary race, see what’s all about.

“It will be tough to say we’re going to win straight off, we do not know.

“It is a brand-new automotive. Though we have achieved a whole lot of laps, there are nonetheless possibly a whole lot of niggles within the race conditions, so I believe the most important objective for us as a workforce is to be taught as quick as we will to enhance the automotive on a regular basis.

Ferrari 499P at Sebring

Photograph by: Ferrari

“The outright objective is clearly to get wins, to get championships, to get Le Mans, however we do not know when that is going to occur. You may’t anticipate it in all probability within the first 12 months.

“It will be good, however we all know the competitors is robust. We all know that, everybody is aware of that.

“We’re going into it with the hope that we’ll do properly, however you simply do not know. We simply have to be taught and see the place we stand.”

Ferrari is likely one of the two Hypercar producers that has no race expertise with its Hypercar contender heading into Sebring, with the ByKolles-run Vanwall the one different machine but to make its aggressive bow.

Hypercar incumbents Toyota, Peugeot and Glickenhaus have all various expertise from the final two WEC seasons, whereas Cadillac and Porsche additionally acquired to race their respective LMDh challengers within the IMSA SportsCar Championship season-opener at Daytona final month.

Requested if an absence of race mileage places Ferrari at an obstacle for the 1000-mile contest on the Florida venue, Calado mentioned: “After all, it’s a drawback. They have the higher hand by way of expertise already, particularly a few of the producers. We all know that.

“However there may be nothing we will do. We now have a brand new automotive. We’re new into this after so a few years of being away from high class. So, it goes right down to the expectations once more, we simply do not know.

“After all, the workforce have been working day and evening, it has been flat-out work, work, to try to get the automotive right into a place the place it’s raceable and dependable however we do not know [where we stand] till we really race the automotive.

“We will not say what will occur. We simply do not know, however we’re simply wanting ahead to the problem, wanting ahead to the educational course of and in the end, hopefully that brings us outcomes sooner or later.”



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