Sunday, July 14, 2024

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WEC champion Ferrari hopes to “get back on track” after victory at Le Mans

Ferrari believes it has returned to the fight for the world endurance championship in 2024 after taking its first victory of the season on the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

This left the No. 50 crew a distant fifth within the Drivers' Championship, 34 points behind the championship-leading Porsche trio of Laurens Vanthoor, Kevin Estre and Andre Lotterer, while Ferrari itself was ahead of each Porsche and Toyota within the manufacturers' standings .
However, the Italian marque managed to make up ground in essentially the most prestigious round of the yr, with Fuoco, Molina and Nielsen taking a formidable victory from fourth on the grid, while Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi joined them on the rostrum in third within the No. 51 automobile .

This saw the No. 50 trio take second place within the Drivers' Championship, just nine points behind the No. 6 crew, with Ferrari now having the identical advantage over Porsche within the Manufacturers' Battle.

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Antonello Coletta, Ferrari's sports automobile racing boss, described victory within the WEC double points round in France as a turning point within the championship fight.

“Honestly, we lost a lot of points in Imola and Spa because we could have come here today [after Le Mans] with three wins on our table. Unfortunately [we have] just one, but probably the most important,” he said.

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

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

Photo: Emanuele Clivati ​​| Photo AG

“It is normal that we’re at a turning point [point] championship and we’ve got a likelihood to do our greatest to win the championship. At the top of the day, the world championship is the utmost result – the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the World Championship.

“We have won many world championships in the GT class, and why not with a prototype.”

The WEC will head to Sao Paulo after which Austin for the American leg of the championship in the approaching months, with each venues returning to the calendar after long absences. Six- and eight-hour matches in Fuji and Bahrain will conclude the season.

Ferrari's technical director of sports automobile racing, Ferdinando Cannizzo, was equally optimistic in regards to the Prancing Horse's title possibilities, but is unsure how competitive the 499P shall be within the second half of the campaign.

“We definitely recovered a little bit and probably got back on the road to win the championship,” he said.

“About the following races [it] It shall be hard. It shall be difficult because we want to digest the victory quickly and deal with Brazil. Brazil may be very close, so we want to rest and deal with latest races [which are] quite different. Interlagos is a difficult track.

“I can answer that we’ve got to [repeat] the work we did for Le Mans, Spa and 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

Photo: Alexander Trienitz

“We must work on the simulation and understand how we’ll use it within the race. At the moment I don't know if we shall be competitive or not, but after all we’ll work very hard in all of the last races of the season so we will say hello to the championship.

“Our goal is always to end the season with a championship title and we will work hard to get back home.”

Ferrari had an almost certain victory thrown away at Imola as a consequence of two strategic errors made in wet conditions, while one other potential victory was lost at Spa when a red flag left the cars in a disadvantageous position for the restart. Immediately after the race, he protested against the outcomes of the Belgian round, but his protest was rejected by the judges. She has since appealed the choice.

In a speech after its Le Mans victory, Ferrari revealed the lengths to which it went to forestall similar communications disruptions during key pit stop calls.

The Italian manufacturer split strategy when rain fell for the primary time at La Sarthe within the third hour, with the No. 50 and No. 83 satellite automobile entering the factory to achieve a major advantage while remaining off the rapidly drying track.

“After Imola, I organized many meetings with mechanics, engineers and drivers,” Coletta revealed. “I spoke to all of them because I understood exactly what our problem was and why there was a misunderstanding.

“And now I believe we’ve got shown that we’re working thoroughly. I believe all the alternatives we made within the race were correct.

“There are not any misunderstandings, no errors in calling the automobile on the gearbox. Probably the race at Imola was very helpful in those 24 hours.

“But I'm very, very pleased with the team's response after the issue on the Italian GP (sic), because, truthfully, for me the defeat before us was a disaster. [home] “Fans.”

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