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Ferrari lodges protest against Bahrain WEC BoP changes

Ferrari has lodged a protest against two separate Balance of Performance changes involving its factory GTE Pro entries ahead of the World Endurance Championship title decider in Bahrain.

#52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo: Daniel Serra, Miguel Molina

#52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo: Daniel Serra, Miguel Molina

Ferrari

A steward document stated that the AF Corse team that runs the works Ferrari operation in WEC has until 3pm local time (12pm GMT) to complete the mandatory protest procedure for each car it entered across the two races in Bahrain. A final verdict will be provided an hour later at 4pm local time.

Although the BoP changes affected Ferraris entered in both GTE categories, the document stated that the ‘protest has been filled by AF Corse “only” in its capacity as competitor in the Pro category of the FIA WEC’.

The protests concerns the original BoP change made for the Bahrain 6 Hours event, last week as well as the second adjustment announced on Wednesday night that will take effect for tomorrow's Bahrain 8 Hours.

The Ferrari 488 GTEs were robbed of an estimated 25bhp ahead of last weekend's race, leaving it to trail third and fourth in the four-car GTE Pro class behind the two Porsches.

This change was made outside of the auto BoP system that has been in place in the WEC for several years, with the FIA and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest instead opting for so-called black-ball changes to adjust the performance of Ferraris in both GTE categories.

The FIA and ACO has now reinstated about half the power Ferrari lost due to the previous BoP change, with the boost pressure of the 488 GTE raised by 0.04 bar and its fuel tank capacity consequently raised by two litres to 91 litres.

#52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo: Daniel Serra, Miguel Molina

#52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo: Daniel Serra, Miguel Molina

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

This prompted Alexander Stehlig, head of operations at the Manthey-run WEC factory team, to declare that he was "not happy with this decision".

Ferrari and Porsche are locked in a tight fight for GTE Pro honours following the exit of Aston Martin after the 2019/20 season, with just a single point separating the two marques in both standings.

In the drivers’ standings, AF Corse’s James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi sit just ahead of Kevin Estre and Neel Jani with 139 and 138 points respectively, while Porsche (231) holds a narrow advantage over Ferrari (230) in the manufacturers’ battle.

The WEC 8 Hours of Bahrain will be streamed live on Motorsport.tvClick here for more information

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