The Sakhir circuit in Bahrain hosted the rookie tests that traditionally wrap up the FIA World Endurance Championship season after the final race. Ferrari official drivers Lilou Wadoux and Robert Shwartzman had their first chance to climb on board the 499P that competed in the world championship, test-driving the Prancing Horse’s Le Mans Hypercar on the track. At the end of the day, which also saw Alessandro Pier Guidi enter the cockpit, Ferrari set the fastest time with Shwartzman.
Wadoux completed her first season as an official driver for the Maranello manufacturer by trying out the 499P number 51, the car that triumphed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Pier Guidi-Calado-Giovinazzi. It was a positive test for the 22-year-old Frenchwoman, who made motor racing history this year with her victory in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – in the LMGTE Am class of the World Endurance Championship, with the Ferrari 488 GTE shared with Alessio Rovera and Louis Perez-Companc – a first win for a female driver in the FIA WEC era, which opened in 2012.
“Today I fulfilled a dream, that of driving the 499P that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the most important endurance race in the world, at the end of my first year as a Prancing Horse driver,” said Wadoux. “Last year, in Bahrain, I tried a Hypercar for the first time. However, this occasion was very special: I had fun putting myself to the test with this car. I savoured every single lap”.
It was also Shwartzman’s first ever experience in the Ferrari 499P. This year, he made his debut in the GT World Challenge Europe – Endurance Cup with the 296 GT3 of AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors, ending the season with a win in Barcelona alongside Alessio Rovera and Nicklas Nielsen. He also became a Scuderia Ferrari F1 reserve driver.
“I was finally able to drive the Ferrari Hypercar, it was a very interesting day and I am very satisfied with both the performance and the speed with which I was able to adapt to this car,” commented the 24-year-old after the afternoon test. “To have set the best time at the end of the day makes me happy.”
Both drivers completed a total of 30 laps: Wadoux managed to stop the clock in 1'49''488, while Shwartzman completed a lap in 1'48''559.