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Ferrari Drivers Voice Concerns About 499P Power Gain

Calado, Fuoco react to introduction of Power Gain as Ferrari 499P loses power above 250 km/h…

Photo: Julien Delfosse/DPPI

Ferrari drivers James Calado and Antonio Fuoco have acknowledged that the introduction of the Power Gain in the Hypercar Balance of Performance could impact the Italian marque’s chances of defending its 24 Hours of Le Mans victory.

For the first time since the start of the FIA World Endurance Championship season, the so-called ‘two-stage’ BoP will be implemented for the top class, with cars receiving a power boost or decrease above a set threshold of 250 km/h (155.3 mph).

The Ferrari 499P is one of only three cars in the Hypercar division to see a power drop over the threshold, with a 1.7 percent decrease that is equivalent to 8.6kW (11.5 hp).

Calado, part of last year’s winning No. 51 Ferrari crew alongside Alessandro Pier Guidi and Antonio Giovinazzi, said that Ferrari can not bank on a repeat of its strong showing in the previous round of the WEC at Spa owing to the Power Gain.

“We’ve got this two-stage [BoP], which could affect us a bit,” said Calado. “Whatever we gained, they’ve taken it away.

“But we need to see about the race pace and get the car in a good window, and decide when to use the tire at the right time.”

Asked if he expects the power reduction to be a major hindrance, Calado replied: “It’s a long track. Let’s see, they (the organizers) can control anything they want, so let’s hope they control it in a good way.”

Fuoco, who shares the sister No. 50 Ferrari with Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen, added: “Things have changed from Spa quite a lot. We don’t start as favorite here. We saw that our competitors are strong at Spa and other tracks.

“I think the favorite ones at the moment are Porsche and Toyota. We have a strong car, and we have shown since the beginning of the season, but I think at the moment we are not the strongest.”

The Italian driver also expressed hopes that the Power Gain, which was previously tested in the pre-season Prologue test in Qatar in March, will be reviewed by race organizers in the run-up to first practice on Wednesday afternoon.

“For sure they will understand during the test how it works and if it’s the right choice, or maybe they need to adjust a bit, I don’t know,” said Fuoco.

“It’s good they have chance to test it and analyze the data on Monday and Tuesday.”

Toyota Welcomes Power Gain; Lower Threshold a “Surprise”

Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director David Floury says he welcomes the introduction of the Power Gain, which the Japanese marque has consistently expressed support for.

The GR010 Hybrid is one of four cars to be handed an extra 0.9 percent of power under the system, which in the case of the Toyota equates to 4.6 kW (6.2 hp).

Floury said: “I was more expecting that it wouldn’t come, because logically it could have come earlier. But we are happy about this element, at least.

“It seems there was recognition after Spa it was needed.”

However, Floury said the fact the threshold has been increased from 210 km/h as previously listed to 250 km/h was “more of a surprise” to him.

“It was listed as 210 km/h before, so it was a surprise it was changed,” he said.

Toyota team director Rob Leupen meanwhile refused comment on the subject of BoP, including Power Gain, when asked about the topic by Sportscar365.

Jamie Klein is Sportscar365's Asian editor. Japan-based Klein, who previously worked for Motorsport Network on the Motorsport.cоm and Autosport titles, covers the FIA World Endurance Championship and SUPER GT, among other series.

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