The A24, the new name for the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, featured James Calado and the Ferrari 499P in which he won the Centenary 24 Hours of Le Mans as the two guests of honour on Saturday.
In his first public outing after renewing his contract with the Maranello manufacturer, the 34-year-old Briton met with the press and fans at one of Europe’s leading motorsport shows.
“Winning at Le Mans was a surprise,” said Calado. “It was our fourth-ever race with the 499P. Taking the overall victory in the top class is different from our victories in the LMGTE Pro class. It’s a very long event, with enormous pressure, and the effort we have to put in, including driving, is considerable because the Hypercars are very physical cars to drive.” Among the cars on display, the 499P, with the number 51 on its livery, aroused great interest and was snapped by many guests. In this car, Calado, his long-time teammate Alessandro Pier Guidi and Antonio Giovinazzi won the Centenary 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The British driver also spoke about his contract renewal and his goals for the season. “I love working with an Italian team for many reasons, both technical and human. Working for Ferrari is extra special because we’re a family. Demanding, yes, but willing to stand by us drivers in moments of difficulty. That’s why I’m happy to continue being part of this group. I like pressure, and at Ferrari, the pressure is connected to the great desire to win.” Calado’s goal is no different: “I work hard every day to be ready for the start of the season because I aim to win the world championship with Ferrari and, if possible, climb the top step of the podium at Le Mans again.”
This year’s event spanned four days and offered fans, industry experts, families and supporters a packed programme of events and meetings.