Alessandro Pier Guidi: “We’re commenting on a final result that doesn’t reflect the potential of our cars.”

3 Mins read
Credit: Ferrari Media Centre

The Ferrari AF Corse Hypercar drivers have reflected on what could have been after a disappointing result in their home race at the 6 Hours of Imola. The Italian team headed into the second round of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with high hopes but ultimately left Imola empty handed.

The three Ferraris lead the charge at the start of the 6 Hours of Imola. Credit: Ferrari Media Centre

The Scuderia started strong. They topped all three practise sessions before putting on a dominant display in qualifying, where all three Ferrari 499Ps locked out the top three positions on the grid. In the race, the pace was strong until the rain came. Ferrari ran a different strategy to Toyota Gazoo Racing, who pitted as soon as the rain came to switch to wet tyres. Ferrari continued on slicks, a seemingly masterful move as the rain wasn’t particularly heavy and confined to one area of the track. However, after a few laps, their courage failed and they switched to wets too late, handing the advantage to Toyota who ultimately went on to win the race.

One of the driver team in the #51 car, Alessandro Pier Guidi was understandably frustrated. “Unfortunately, we’re commenting on a final result that doesn’t reflect the potential of our cars” Pier Guidi said. “Finishing off the podium in front of the many fans who supported us here at Imola is disappointing. We made an excellent start and managed the first half of the race well. We understand the nature of motorsport, where joy can sometimes swiftly turn into disappointment. So, we leave Imola aware of our potential and recognise the need to continue improving. We’re already looking ahead to the next event at Spa in May, aiming to achieve a strong result.

The #50 Ferrari in the rain that changed everything. Credit: Julien Delfosse / DPPI

Nicklas Nielsen, one of the drivers for the pole-sitting #50 car, was equally disappointed, saying “The race showed promise at the start, with a strong pace in the opening hours. However, the weather changed, and we could not finish the 6 Hours of Imola as we’d liked. At the end of the day, we can’t be entirely satisfied. We’ll aim to gather valuable insights from this race to improve our performance and return determined to do our best as of the next race at Spa.”

The #50 car in the hands of Antonio Fuoco delivered a stellar performance after the pit strategy error played out. Fuoco managed to fight his way back up to 4th, delivering the fastest lap of the race on lap 203 out of 205. Unlike Toyota, who managed to secure victory despite not having the fastest car, Ferrari now need to work on maximising the potential and not throwing a result away due to strategic errors.

Antonello Coletta, Global Head of Endurance and Corse Clienti, gave an honest appraisal of the weekend. “When the rain came, the race was affected by the mistake of not varying the strategies among our three cars that had led up to that point” he admitted. “The disappointment is compounded by the regret of not delivering the deserved joy to the many fans who came to Imola and once again showed their immense affection for Ferrari and their passion for our involvement in the top endurance class.”

All three Ferraris in the pits after switching to wets too late to challenge Toyota for the win. Credit: Julien Delfosse / DPPI

Last word goes to Ferdinando Cannizzo, Head of Endurance Race Cars. “We know that the Ferrari 499P’s performance on slick tyres is excellent in damp track conditions, and even in the wet at the start, it was pretty good, so we tried to extend the lead over our competitors. However, in the end, misjudging the weather forecast, we made a late call that compromised the overall result.” However, he remains optimistic. “In the finale, however, the number 50 499P delivered an outstanding stint in wet track conditions with slick tyres, while the number 83 Ferrari secured an impressive class win, undoubtedly a positive aspect of the race.

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Lifelong fan of motor sport, covering the FIA World Rallycross Championship and the FIA WEC, the shortest and longest races covered by the FIA!
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