Sunday, 10 September 2023 21:21

Ferrari 499Ps fourth and fifth at 6 Hours of Fuji

Written by

For the first time this season, the Ferrari 499Ps failed to mount the FIA World Endurance Championship podium, finishing fourth and fifth in the 6 Hours of Fuji, respectively, with the trio of Fuoco-Molina-Nielsen and Pier Guidi-Calado-Giovinazzi.

The Ferrari – AF Corse team leaves Japan knowing it exploited the car's full potential. They tried to implement creative and alternative strategies, but these were not enough to win the points required to keep their Manufacturers' title hopes alive.

After a brilliant start by Molina and Calado that saw the Ferraris move up behind the number 6 Porsche, the two 499Ps had to yield to the Toyotas, which took the lead after the two-thirds mark. Following Giovinazzi and Nielsen’s stints mid-race, Fuoco and Pier Guidi completed proceedings with the two cars one lap behind the number 7 Toyota at the finish line.

Here are the comments after round six of the FIA WEC 2023.

Antonio Fuoco, 499P #50: “Miguel made a strong start, and we tried to stay with the leaders and hold on, but we weren’t fast enough. From our point of view, we did the best we could as a team. Now, we must analyse all the data so we can tackle Bahrain to the best of our ability.”

Miguel Molina, 499P #50: “It was a frantic start, but I got into second place as early as the first corner. I kept a positive approach and tried to control the pace. Then, we tried to take risks with the strategy, but it didn’t pay off. Nicklas and Antonio did exceptionally well, and we came away with the best possible result.”

Nicklas Nielsen, 499P #50: “I put in an excellent double stint. We didn’t think we could contend for victory, and, the way the race went, fourth and fifth place was the best the team could have achieved today.”

Alessandro Pier Guidi, 499P #51: “As at Monza we struggled, especially in the sectors where we needed power, but we have kept our Driver’s title hopes alive, even though it will be extremely difficult.”

James Calado, 499P #51: “I’m happy with my performance even though the result didn’t meet our expectations, which is a shame. I managed the tyres in the early stages to be more effective at the finish, but the others were faster, and the weight difference made itself felt.”

Antonio Giovinazzi, 499P #51: “It was a challenging weekend, perhaps the most difficult of the year, as confirmed by the fact we didn’t make the podium. We’ll have to look at everything carefully and try to return stronger in Bahrain. Our Drivers’ title chances are minimal, but we’ll still give it a go.”

Antonello Coletta, Global Head of Endurance and Corse Clienti: “We wanted the podium here at Fuji but achieved the best result we could. We know that in Bahrain, things could unfold similarly to what we saw at Monza and here in Japan. Unfortunately, after the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the parameters changed and, with them, our possibility of fighting for the titles.”

Ferdinando Cannizzo, Head of Endurance Race Cars: “What we saw at Monza repeated itself here at Fuji, and it wasn’t easy to find a strategy that would at least allow us to fight for the podium. We are sorry we couldn’t keep our interest in the Manufacturers’ championship alive until the last race.”

Depending on the extra points up for grabs in the 8 Hours of Bahrain, this result means the Drivers' title is still mathematically possible if technically challenging for the crews from Maranello.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.