Ferrari protest against WEC race result in Spa rejected

A protest lodged by Ferrari against the result of the WEC race in Spa-Francorchamps was rejected on Sunday night. At 12:12 a.m. the stewards ruled that the protest was not permitted because “stewards’ decisions cannot be the subject of a protest under the FIA ​​International Sporting Code.”

Late on Saturday evening at 10:03 p.m. – a good hour after the end of the extended race and Porsche’s double victory – Ferrari AF Corse had the chairman of the sports stewards against the stewards’ decision number 71 (the race will be extended by 1:44 hours) and thus de facto protested against the provisional race result.

Spa: Race extension costs Ferrari double victory

Ferrari’s dissatisfaction with the course of the race, which was originally scheduled to last 6 hours, came as little surprise: When the race management raised red flags at 5:13 p.m. – almost 2 hours before the actual finish – as a result of the serious accident between Earl Bamber (Cadillac) and Sean Gelael ( WRT-BMW), the two factory Ferrari 499Ps were comfortably in the lead and heading for a one-two victory.

“We consider the decision to extend the race beyond the six hours to be questionable,” Ferrari’s endurance manager Ferdinando Cannizzo was later quoted cautiously in the manufacturer’s press release. “We regret this very much because we are convinced that the outcome should have been different.” Ferrari driver James Calado added: “This ‘sprint race’ shouldn’t have happened.”

WEC Spa: Serious racing accident triggers red flags (01:53 min.)

FIA argues decision with fair competition

After the extensive repair work on the crash barriers and safety fences on the Kemmel Straight, the stewards decided to make up for the race time lost during the red flags. This is permitted by the sporting regulations. This extended the race by 1:44 hours. During the interruption, the time continued to run according to the regulations and at the time of the announced extra time (6:56 p.m.) there would have been only 4 minutes remaining – that would have meant Ferrari’s secure double victory.

According to a letter from the FIA, the aim of the extension was “to grant all competitors sporting fairness because they had designed their strategies for a 6-hour race. Shortening the race would have meant that some competitors won something and others won something “We would have lost,” Autosport quoted the world association as saying.

Porsche surprisingly won the Spa race

The race extension was welcomed by many teams and drivers (with the exception of Ferrari) as well as the large number of spectators (88,160 over the weekend) who patiently endured the red phase for almost two hours.

At the same time, this rather unusual step practically brought the preliminary decision: The eventual race winners, the #12 Jota-Porsche (Stevens/Ilott), and the second-placed #6 Penske-Porsche (Lotterer, Estre, Vanthoor) had made their pit stops shortly before the red phase and This effectively saved a minute of time, while many competitors, including the Ferrari, had to go to the pits to refuel immediately after the restart. During the red phase, only the tires were allowed to be changed.

In terms of pure performance, Ferrari would have been hard to beat in Spa. There was mostly agreement in the paddock: the 499P hypercars were superior to the competition in all respects. It looked very similar three weeks ago in Imola, when Ferrari was heading for a secure one-two victory until several wrong strategy decisions threw the factory team far back. Toyota took victory at Scuderia’s home game.

Ferrari double lead after a great comeback

In Spa, the factory Ferraris with starting numbers #51 (Pier Guidi, Giovinazzi, Calado) and #50 (Fuoco, Molina, Nielsen) took the double lead for the first time on lap 86 in the fourth hour of racing. A remarkable achievement, after all it was #50 started from 19th or last place instead of 1st as a result of a qualifying disqualification. The sister car started the race from position 10.

Until the red flag, only the #99 Proton-Porsche (Jani, Andlauer) with the incredibly strong Julien Andlauer was able to defend itself against the Ferrari. At this point, the eventual winners Jota-Porsche were only in tenth place, while the #6 Penske-Porsche was in P12.

The pit stops of the two Porsches before the race was stopped decided the race, and the championship leaders Andre Lotterer, Kevin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor had a fair bit of luck: The pit stop was not due to the stint strategy, but was due to a puncture 963 needed!

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