Ferrari warned not to 'delude' itself with Spa WEC GTE podium

Ferrari cannot "delude" itself with its GTE Pro class podium finish in last weekend's Spa World Endurance Championship opener, says factory driver Davide Rigon

Ferrari warned not to 'delude' itself with Spa WEC GTE podium

Rigon and co-driver Sam Bird finished a distant third in the #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE, a lap behind the victorious Ford GT of Stefan Mucke, Olivier Pla and Billy Johnson and the second-placed Porsche 911 RSR of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre.

It came after a late safety car bunched up the field and allowed Rigon to go on the attack against the ailing #91 Porsche of Richard Lietz, who was struggling on a set of worn tyres.

Rigon made a forceful pass on Lietz at the Bus Stop chicane in the closing stages to finally secure what he admitted was a fortuitous podium finish.

"The podium only came thanks to the safety car and a perfect strategy," Rigon said. "We can't delude ourselves.

"We chose to fit the hardest tyre because we knew our only chance would be in the second part of the race, by double-stinting. At the start it was very hard, we suffered a lot.

"We started on used tyres but we managed to stay with the group. We saved new tyres for the end, we went to catch up the Porsche and I passed.

"It wasn't easy because Lietz had better straightline speed than me. More than once I drew alongside him, I overtook him on acceleration because I had better tyres but then he recovered the position.

"I'm sorry to have used such bad manners to pass Lietz, as he's a great driver and a friend. But at that point I could not do otherwise."

Rigon echoed his Ferrari bosses by calling for a reset of the GTE Pro Balance of Performance before the next six-hour WEC race at Silverstone in August.

"I hope that the FIA and the ACO can rebalance things because Ford and Porsche were too fast for us, BMW, which struggles in the corners, and Aston Martin," he said.

"Our race pace is great but it's not enough to aim for the victory."

The sister #51 Ferrari of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi was eliminated from contention in a pitlane incident with the GTE Am class Project 1 Porsche.

shares
comments
Rebellion: LMP1 won't be attractive without Toyota WEC pace review

Previous article

Rebellion: LMP1 won't be attractive without Toyota WEC pace review

Next article

Toyota surprised LMP1 privateers were so far behind in Spa WEC

Toyota surprised LMP1 privateers were so far behind in Spa WEC
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Author Jamie Klein
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Plus

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

OPINION: Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Plus

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

WEC
May 4, 2021
Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship Plus

Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship

Beyond the slender grid of headline-grabbing hypercars, there are numerous subplots and changes to look out for in the new season of the WEC, which gets underway at Spa this weekend. Here's the seven key things you need to know about

WEC
Apr 30, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Plus

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Plus

How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no works Aston Martins in the GTE-Pro class. As its new era in Formula 1 begins, Aston leaves behind a legacy of success courtesy of its Prodrive-run factory programme that was a hit from the word go in 2005

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021