It was a day of damage limitation for the Porsche Racing LMP1 squad, with hybrid problems slowing the #2 machine, while the #1 suffered two punctures that ultimately cost them a number of laps while damage was repaired to the car.
Whilst the #2 of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb were able to salvage a second place finish, the #1 of Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley were less fortunate, finishing fifth in the hybrid class but twenty-seventh overall.
Team Principal Andreas Seidl congratulated Audi on taking the overall victory at Spa-Francorchamps, and despite the issues was happy to take a championship lead away from the event in both the drivers’ and teams’ championships.
“Congratulations to Audi for a hard fought victory,” said Seidl. “It was clear today that all three manufacturers operate their technologies to the limit.
“For the first time since our LMP1 programme began we now go to Le Mans leading in both world championships, the manufacturers’ as well as the drivers’ standings.”
After all the issues in Belgium, Seidl admitted it was bitter luck for the #1 squad, the defending champions to leave Spa with such a lowly finish after crashing out of the opening round at Silverstone, while he praised the #2 squad for surviving until the chequered flag with the hybrid issues.
“For our car number 1 crew it is bitter to be left almost empty handed after two rounds because of massively bad luck in the races,” said Seidl. “In Silverstone they had an accident, here it was a puncture with huge consequences.
“Crew number 2 did a superb job despite the early problem with the hybrid system and achieved an almost sensational second place finish.
“With the new low downforce package we had, again, the fastest car on track. Now we have to improve the reliability in details and get ready for Le Mans.”