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Ferrari starts 2024 WEC campaign with no performance upgrades to its Hypercar

Ferrari is heading into the 2024 World Endurance Championship with no performance upgrades on its 499P Le Mans Hypercar.

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

JEP / Motorsport Images

The Italian manufacturer has confirmed that it has not taken any of the so-called evo jokers allowed to manufacturers competing in the Hypercar class ahead of this weekend’s WEC curtain-raiser in Qatar.

Ferrari sportscar technical director Ferdinando Cannizzo said: “At the moment we have not used any jokers; we want to exploit the potential of the base car.

“Before we apply for any jokers we want to understand the ultimate performance of our car.

“The more we run the more we understand about the car, the aero, the tyres.

“Definitely the electronics and controls in the car play a fundamental role, but it is not the only area we are working on.”

Ferrari had previously been non-committal about its development plans for 2024.

At the end of last year, its sportscar racing boss Antonello Coletta said on multiple occasions that there was no decision on the use of jokers, but stated that it would invoke no more than one.

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

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

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Cannizzo stressed that Ferrari hasn’t ruled out bringing a joker into play during the course of the 2024 season.

“We will see, but at the moment it is not planned,” he said.

Manufacturers competing in both WEC and the IMSA SportsCar Championship are allowed five jokers over the lifecycle of an LMH or LMDh.

Cannizzo went on to say that one of the priorities of Ferrari’s off-season development programme over the winter was improving tyre usage, one of the areas in which Ferrari fell short against Toyota in 2023.

“It was something we wanted to focus on,” he said.

The factory AF Corse Ferrari team undertook five days of testing between last year’s Bahrain finale in November and arriving in Qatar for this week’s Prologue pre-season test.

It ran at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar in a test starting at the end of November along with Toyota and Porsche, both the factory Penske and privateer Jota squads. It subsequently ran at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi this year.

#50 Ferrari Af Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen, #51 Ferrari Af Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

#50 Ferrari Af Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen, #51 Ferrari Af Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Cannizzo stressed the importance of simulation in Ferrari’s development programme as it bids to improve on its third and fourth positions in the WEC drivers’ championship last year, the maiden season of the 499P.

“We also have the simulator which plays a crucial role; we have had a lot of simulator testing,” he explained.

The evo joker process is not in the public domain; even the manufacturers are not told if their rivals have successfully applied for performance upgrades.

Read Also:

Peugeot is believed to be the only manufacturer to have made use of an evo joker or jokers so far for 2024 on the new version of the 9X8 LMH that comes on stream at the Imola round in April.

Toyota, Cadillac, Porsche and WEC newcomer BMW, which raced its M Hybrid V8 LMDh in IMSA last year, have confirmed that they have not used any jokers for this season.

Porsche has an engine update in the plan for 2024, which it says is likely to count as a performance upgrade.

Revision made in the name of reliability are free, but still need to be approved by the rule makers, the FIA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.

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