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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Ferrari’s WEC title hopes “again on observe” after Le Mans win

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Ferrari believes it’s again within the hunt for the 2024 World Endurance Championship after claiming its first win of the season on the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Ferrari had clinched only a single podium within the lead-up to final weekend’s fourth spherical of the season, with Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen having completed third at Spa within the #50 499P.

This had left the #50 crew a distant fifth within the drivers’ standings, 34 factors off the championship-leading Porsche trio of Laurens Vanthoor, Kevin Estre and Andre Lotterer, whereas Ferrari itself trailed each Porsche and Toyota within the producers’ desk.

Nonetheless, the Italian marque managed to strike again in essentially the most prestigious spherical of the yr, with Fuoco, Molina and Nielsen claiming a powerful win from fourth on the grid and Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi becoming a member of them on the rostrum in third within the #51 automotive.

The outcome has elevated the #50 trio to second within the drivers’ championship and simply 9 factors off the #6 crew, with Ferrari now trailing Porsche by the identical margin within the producers’ battle.

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Antonello Coletta, Ferrari’s sportscar racing chief, described the victory within the double-points WEC spherical in France as a turning level for its championship problem.

“Truthfully, we misplaced lots of factors in Imola and Spa as a result of immediately we might come right here [after Le Mans] with three victories on our desk. Sadly [we have] only one, however most likely crucial one,” he mentioned.

#50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen

Picture by: Emanuele Clivati | AG Picture

“It is regular that we’re on the turnaround [point] of the championship and we’ve an opportunity to make all our greatest efforts to win the championship. On the finish, the world championship is a most outcome – the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the World Championship.

“We gained lots of world championships with the GT class and why not with the prototype.”

The WEC heads to Sao Paulo after which Austin within the coming months as a part of the American leg of the championship, with each venues returning to the calendar after lengthy absences. Six and eight-hour fixtures in Fuji and Bahrain will carry the season to an in depth.

Ferrari’s technical director for sportscar racing Ferdinando Cannizzo was equally upbeat concerning the Prancing Horse’s prospects for the title, however is unsure simply how aggressive the 499P might be within the second half of the marketing campaign.

“For certain we recovered a bit and we’re most likely again on observe to win the championship,” he mentioned.

“In regards to the subsequent races [it] might be troublesome. Will probably be troublesome as a result of we have to digest the victory shortly, we have to deal with Brazil. Brazil could be very shut so we have to relaxation, hold the deal with the brand new races [which are] fully completely different. Interlagos is a troublesome observe.

“What I can reply is we have to [repeat] the job that we did for Le Mans or for Spa or for Imola.

Podium: Race winner #50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen

Podium: Race winner #50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

“There may be work on the simulation and to grasp how we exploit it for the race. I do not know in the intervening time if we might be aggressive or not however in fact, we’ll work very exhausting in all of the final races of the season so we are able to say hi there to the championship.

“Our goal is at all times to shut the season with the title and we’ll work exhausting to carry it dwelling.”

Ferrari threw away a near-certain victory at Imola on account of two strategic errors in wet situations, whereas one other potential win was misplaced at Spa when the purple flag left its vehicles in an unfavourable place for the restart. It protested in opposition to the outcomes of the Belgian spherical within the speedy aftermath of the race, but it surely was rejected by the stewards. It has since appealed the choice.

Talking after its win at Le Mans, Ferrari revealed the extent it went to to make sure it doesn’t face an identical breakdown in communication throughout essential pitstop calls.

The Italian producer cut up the technique when rain arrived for the primary time within the third hour at La Sarthe, and the #50 manufacturing unit entry and the #83 satellite tv for pc automotive emerged with a serious lead by staying out on a quickly drying observe.

“I organised lots of conferences after Imola, with the mechanics, with the engineering, with the drivers,” revealed Coletta. “I spoke with all of them as a result of I’d perceive precisely the issue that we had and why we had the misunderstanding.

“And now I imagine that we reveal we work very very properly. I feel that every one the alternatives we took within the race had been appropriate.

“No misunderstanding, no error with the decision of the automotive on the field. And doubtless the race of Imola has been a giant assist for this 24 hours.

“However I am very, very joyful concerning the reply of the group after the issue on the Italian GP (sic) as a result of frankly for me it has been a catastrophe to lose in entrance of our [home] followers.”



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