How Ferrari wasted a WEC victory opportunity at Imola
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By Adam Proud profile image Adam Proud
3 min read

How Ferrari wasted a WEC victory opportunity at Imola

A home win looked on for Ferrari in the 6 Hours of Imola, but the rain had other ideas

Ahead of the 6 Hours of Imola, all signs pointed firmly towards a Ferrari victory on their home turf.

A one-two-three for the Italian manufacturer in qualifying solidified that thought, and as the green flag flew on Sunday to signal the race start, it was almost put to bed.

But then the rain came.

At first it seemed like the Ferraris could cope with the mixed conditions when the rain started to fall on the fourth hour of the race, but small showers soon became persistent, and all of a sudden the lead held by the #50 car was in jeopardy.

It wasn’t just the race leader that fell victim to the swift change in the weather, its #51 stablemate, who was running second, also failed to react to the change of circumstance.

That, according to Ferrari’s head of endurance Ferdinando Cannizzo, was the team’s downfall as it neglected to bring in either of its cars.

“We conclude the 6 Hours of Imola with regret about the result, as we had the potential to secure overall podium positions, having led the race for nearly four hours,” he said.

“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. 

“There is still much work ahead, and as always, we will approach it with humility, working to regain competitiveness at Spa.”

In the end the Italian manufacturer was forced to settle with a non-podium result, with the #50 in fifth and #51 seventh.

Instead it was Toyota who took a shock victory in the #7 car despite their tough start to the season.

But it’s all a learning curve for Ferrari, who is entering only its second season of the World Endurance Championship’s Hypercar era.

And in the opinion of the #51 driver Alessandro Pier Guidi, it’s important the team looks to bounce back at Spa in just over a week’s time.

“Unfortunately, we’re commenting on a final result that doesn’t reflect the potential of our cars,” he explained. 

“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.”

If a win is coming in WEC’s top-class this year, Ferrari will have to wait just that little bit longer for its first victory of the campaign.

They did it on their fourth outing in 2023, but fingers will be crossed at Maranello that next time out in Belgium will bring greater fortune than it found at Imola two weeks ago.

By Adam Proud profile image Adam Proud
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