Ferrari’s debut in the WEC, the endurance championship, ends with a podium behind the two Toyotas after a pole position start. The Sebring Mille Miglia in Florida saw the Cavallino return to competition exactly half a century after its last participation.
The crew of the 499P number 50 was made up of Antonio Fuoco (who took pole on Friday), Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen. The victory with two laps ahead went to the Toyota GR010s: the number 7 of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José Maria Lopez, ahead of the reigning champions Sebastian Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa. Seventh place for the Ferrari 51 (Alessandro Pier Guidi, Antonio Giovinazzi and James Calado).
The race was conditioned by a couple of episodes which slowed down the two Ferraris. The number 50 suffered a drive through and a 5-second penalty, the 51, with Pier Guidi at the wheel, was the protagonist of an accident which forced the driver to return to the pits with a destroyed tyre, thus damaging the underbody of the car. Toyota would have won anyway.
Comment from the pilots
Molina: «It was a difficult race, as we expected, but in the end we managed to get on the podium and experience great emotion. Crossing the finish line with the two Hypercars was a great result for the whole team who have worked hard in recent months. We know we have room for improvement and that we have a growth path ahead of us that we will face with humility and determination».
Giovinazzi: «I’m happy with the result we achieved as a team thanks to the podium with car number 50 and the pole position. We on number 51 were a bit unlucky in the Prologue and during the race. Our goal now is to analyze all the information collected, build on the experience gained at the debut, and hope to improve already from the next round in Portimão».
Antonello Coletta, director of Ferrari’s GT activities: «We went beyond our objectives: we wanted to get on the podium, and to this we added a splendid pole position. We are happy and at the same time aware that the road ahead is long. In the championship we are up against some very experienced and fast opponents, and with others who have recently entered the Hypercar scene, like us, but just as fast. We are enjoying these results, thanking the whole team for the work done over the last eight months which has allowed us to compete on a demanding track like Sebring without encountering any reliability problems.”
For Ferrari, this is a positive return to the category, in preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the most prestigious event in the category, scheduled for 10-11 June at the historic Sarthe circuit. Previously, the WEC will race: the 6 Hours of Portimao (April 16) and the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (April 29).