AF Corse undaunted by Giancarlo Fisichella's Le Mans practice crash
|By Tom Mallett||Thursday, June 14th 2012, 15:05 GMT|
AF Corse team owner Amato Ferrari believes that its lead Ferrari 458 can still win the GTE Pro category despite having to build a car up around a new chassis after Giancarlo Fisichella crashed at the Porsche Curves during practice on Wednesday.
Car #51 drivers Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander qualified for the race using the sister AF Corse machine #71 of Oliver Beretta, Andrea Bertolini and Marco Cioci but will have to start from the back of the grid for the race.
"It is unexpected because normally Fisichella doesn't make mistakes and we had worked so hard to fix the car after an accident in testing, but the aim is still the same, to win," Ferrari told AUTOSPORT.
"We have our people working crazily to finish the car, the new chassis arrived at 11am this morning and we have been switching over the mechanics. It is not a big deal because we would be switching the suspension and the gearbox and the mechanicals anyway on Friday, so we are just moving it forward a day."
Ferrari said the crash was Fisichella's own mistake and that the only issue for the team is now set-up time and the lack of laps.
"There was no contact. He approached the Porsche curve and he felt the car sliding so maybe there was some dirt and there was no contact with another driver. He hit the barrier with the side and the rear. He was flat in fourth gear at the time, it is on the telemetry," he added.
"The problem is just a lack of laps and preparation and everyone will be very tired during the race because we will do tonight and today working non-stop."