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Ferrari claims it faced "disadvantage" in Monza WEC race

Ferrari has claimed it raced at “a disadvantage compared to its rivals” on the way to second position on home ground in Sunday’s Monza round of the World Endurance Championship.

#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

The phrase used in a cursory statement issued after the Le Mans 24 Hours-winning WEC Hypercar squad was beaten by Toyota can be regarded as a clear reference to the revised Balance of Performance that came into effect for the Monza 6 Hours.

The release, issued after midnight local time following the race, also said that after its victory at Le Mans last month Ferrari’s “expectation was to fight in the same conditions as in the French race”.

Ferrari then talked about an “imposed limitation” on its 499P Le Mans Hypercar that was mitigated by the team’s strategy, pit work and drivers.

The term BoP wasn’t mentioned: manufacturers, teams and drivers are expressly forbidden from talking about it in the WEC sporting regulations.

The 148-word statement was Ferrari’s only post-race communication after Antonio Fuoco, Nicklas Nielsen and Miguel Molina were classified second in the #50 499P. Le Mans winners Antonio Giovinazzi, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado came home fifth in the sister #51 car.

Ferrari normally puts up a leading figure from its Hypercar team, run together with AF Corse, to talk to the media present at the track in the wake of a race, but there was no such opportunity at Monza.

It's understood that Ferrari believes it wasn’t given a fair chance at Monza after the BoP change issued last week, which is due to remain in effect for the remainder of the season.

A separate BoP table was issued for each of the final three races of the season, which reflects the different characteristics of the Monza, Fuji and Bahrain circuits.

The Ferrari 499P received an increase in minimum weight of 5kg for Monza, as well as a power reduction of 16kW specifically for the historic Italian track.

 

A pre-Monza change was scheduled in the new BoP framework introduced for this year, whereas the revisions ahead of Le Mans that pegged back Toyota were made outside of the system.

Fuoco qualified only a couple of hundredths away from Kamui Kobayashi’s pole-winning Toyota GR010 HYBRID at Monza and was only six hundredths behind the Japanese driver at the top of the fastest race lap order from Monza.

Fuoco and his team-mates were only 16s behind race winners Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez at the finish, but the lead for the Toyota had stood at as much as 45s early in the fifth hour prior to the third and final safety car of the race.

Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe technical director Pascal Vasselon argued that the advantage for its race-winning crew came in how the car looked after its tyres over a double stint.

“We killed the opposition on the second stint - in tyre management,” he said. “That is really where we created a big, big gap.”

The race winners ran the hard-compound Michelin at Monza before switching to the medium for the final stint.

Ferrari ran the medium, though mixing in the hard for one side of the car or one corner at different times through the race.

The #51 Ferrari crossed the line in fifth place, was demoted to sixth for a driving infringement from Giovinazzi, and then promoted back to fifth when the #8 Toyota was also penalised.

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