Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Toyota expects Ferrari to remain quickest in Spa WEC despite BoP hit

Toyota is predicting Ferrari will remain on top in this weekend’s Spa round of the World Endurance Championship despite a shuffle in the Balance of Performance. 

#50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen

Photo by: Paolo Belletti

David Floury, technical director of Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe, believes that its Italian rival will maintain at least some of the advantage it showed last time out at Imola before tactical errors when it rained allowed the Japanese manufacturer to come through to win. 

Floury intimated that the BoP changes for the Spa 6 Hours on Saturday will not fully close up the field in the WEC’s Hypercar class. 

“The picture should be similar but with smaller gaps,” said Floury. 

Asked if the Ferrari 499P Le Mans Hypercar will remain in the ascendency, he replied: “I think so.”

He pointed to Ferrari’s pace in this race last year when it claimed a podium behind the two Toyota GR010 HYBRID LMHs as further evidence that it will still be strong around the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. 

“Ferrari showed its pace last year, and I don’t expect a different picture,” he explained. 

Ferrari has taken a 12kg hit in minimum weight under the BoP for Spa as well as losing 4kW (5bhp) in maximum power, whereas the Toyota has gained 4kg and lost 1kW. 

The Toyota will go to the grid 21kg heavier than in 2023, though with 3kW more power. 

Ferrari’s 499P, meanwhile, is 13kg heavier than last year and has 3kW less power. 

When asked to comment on the BoP changes, Floury replied: “Next question.”

Manufacturers, teams and drivers are forbidden from talking about on the BoP in the WEC sporting rules on pain of sanction by the stewards. 

Floury believes that Toyota will have a fight on its hands to repeat the Imola victory this weekend at Spa in the face of an expected performance deficit to Ferrari.

“We will need to be clever to win here,” he explained referencing a weather forecast that is predicting a dry weekend. 

“And this time it looks like we will not be helped by the weather: we will have to be even more clever.”

Floury suggested that the balance between Toyota and Porsche will be similar to Imola last month when they battled over the final spot on the podium behind the Ferraris through the dry period of the race. 

“It was very close: it was a tiny gap - it could have gone one way or the other,” he said.

Ferrari looked set for a 1-2 finish on home ground in Italy before opting to leave both its factory cars and the sister satellite entry from AF Corse out on slicks when it rained. 

It admitted to tactical errors, which included not splitting the strategies on the two works cars.

That allowed the #7 Toyota shared by Kamui Kobayashi, Nick de Vries and Mike Conway to take the victory. 

Practice for the Spa 6 Hours, round three of the 2024 WEC, kicks off at 11:30 local time on Thursday.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article The unheralded “leader” helping Jota to new heights in the WEC
Next article WEC Spa: Ferrari leads the way in FP1 as new manufacturers impress

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe