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    Comments after 1812 KM of Qatar

    Lusail 02 marzo 2024

    The Ferrari 499Ps ended the first round of the FIA WEC 2024 with a fifth place for AF Corse number 83, crewed by the Prancing Horse’s official drivers, Yifei Ye and Robert Shwartzman, alongside Robert Kubica. However, the Ferrari – AF Corse team hypercars finished eighth and 14th with crews number 50 and 51, respectively.

    Yifei Ye, 499P #83 – AF Corse: “I am really delighted to have taken fifth place here in Qatar in my first race with Ferrari. The race wasn’t easy. There were a lot of highs and lows, but we managed every situation well and secured this clearly positive result. We bid farewell to Lusail, aware we’ve done an excellent job and, at the same time, know that we have to continue working because there is plenty of scope for improvement ahead of Imola.

    Robert Shwartzman, 499P #83 – AF Corse: “The result at the end of the 1812 KM, my first ever race in the top endurance class, is certainly positive. After practice and qualifying, we knew the race wouldn’t be easy, and that’s how it turned out. However, we should be happy as a team with fifth place and second in the team standings. It’s a shame because I collided with a LMGT3 car during my stint, which meant we had to change the rear wing, costing us 30 precious seconds.

    Antonio Fuoco, 499P #50 Ferrari – AF Corse: “The year’s first outing wasn’t positive. First, we must work on ourselves because we made too many mistakes today. Now our goal must be to start again even stronger. We are already thinking about the next race at Imola in which I hope we’ll again prove our worth.”

    Miguel Molina, 499P #50 Ferrari – AF Corse: “The 1812 KM was very long, and so much happened over the ten hours. We made a good start, although we knew that our pace wouldn’t give us much of a chance to challenge for the podium. In the end, we picked up some points that will be precious over the course of the season, but looking ahead to Imola, I hope we can do better and bag a significant result in front of our fans.”

    Nicklas Nielsen, 499P #50 Ferrari – AF Corse: “We can’t be satisfied with eighth place, even though we climbed a few positions at the end, gaining some important points for the team and perhaps finishing in the best possible position given the circumstances. It’s a shame because Miguel had an excellent start, but we couldn’t contend for a top position during the race.”

    Alessandro Pier Guidi, 499P #51 Ferrari – AF Corse: “.Before the start, we knew we didn’t have the pace to compete with the cars vying for the top spots, and the race proved this. We still hoped to finish in the points zone, but given how the race went, it was not possible.”

    James Calado, 499P #51 Ferrari – AF Corse: “We have finished a tricky race in which we made some mistakes and were a little unlucky to be honest, but we knew after the practice and qualifying sessions we had little chance of a great result on this track. Now we look to the future, hoping to return to the track at Imola with different aspirations.”

    Antonio Giovinazzi, 499P #51 Ferrari – AF Corse: “The race was tricky from the start. When we lost the rear wing after a collision, one hour and twenty minutes after the start, everything became even harder. We lacked speed and pace here at Lusail, but we also made some mistakes, so in the weeks between now and the 6 Hours of Imola, our goal will be to work hard to return to the track with bigger ambitions.

    Antonello Coletta, Global Head of Endurance and Corse Clienti: “On a tricky weekend, with episodes that we’ll analyse in detail when we return to Maranello, the AF Corse 499P’s performance makes the outcome of the Qatar race less sour. Second place in the independent teams’ standings is an excellent launch pad for the season and will motivate the team. As for the official 499Ps, on the other hand, we saw our pre-race fears confirmed, namely, the power-to-weight ratio’s high impact on competitiveness that left us in an inferior position and precluded any chance of contending for the podium. Looking at the positives, we drove all three cars to the finish again, amassing further data and kilometres that will be useful starting at Imola.

    Ferdinando Cannizzo, Head of Endurance Race Cars“The race result confirmed what had already emerged during the Prologue and in the simulations, that is, the big difference from other cars that didn’t allow us to fight for the podium, and so it was, despite Molina’s splendid start. The race was not free of flaws and unfortunate episodes, but we had no chance of contending for the podium. Despite this, we tried to achieve the best possible result for our cars also by adopting an aggressive strategy. Despite a very demanding track, the tyre management was admirable considering that we suffered neither degradation nor wear even with so many double and triple stints on the tyres.”