Alessandro Pier Guidi said he “couldn’t do anything” after the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Michael Christensen pitted for a splash of fuel in the closing stages of a dramatic battle for the GTE-Pro world championship in Saturday’s 8 Hours of Bahrain.
Pier Guidi, AF Corse co-driver James Calado and Ferrari have provisionally claimed the world titles after a coming together between the two cars in Turn 15 with less than 12 minutes to go.
The Italian was asked by race control to give the position back after contact between his No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo and Christensen’s Porsche, which spun.
However, the Ferrari retained the lead as Christensen pitted one lap later.
“We’ve always been fair,” Pier Guidi said. “I didn’t expect he was braking so hard. He had a clash with a prototype. He was trying to close to the prototype.
“Then when they told me to wait for him, that was fair enough, but I was waiting but then he pitted. At that point they said, ‘Hey, the race director said you can keep going.’
“At that point what could I do? I was waiting a lot and [lost] many seconds to him. I was just waiting in the car and then pitted.
“From my point of view, I didn’t like [it] but for sure it was not my intention to do anything. And I couldn’t do anything.”
Calado shared his viewpoint of the incident, which arguably put a sour note on what had been a hard-fought battle for the win and championship up until the late-race incident.
“We put on a great fight the whole race,” he said. “We really did. Obviously it’s not the ending everyone wants.
“But at the end of the day from out point of view the 92 closed the door really hard on the prototype, came back on the line and Ale had nowhere to go and therefore hit him.
“It’s unfortunate. Obviously we’re sorry but at the end of the day that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Calado: Porsche Had the Edge in Race Pace
While coming out with the provisional win and title, Calado said he felt that Porsche had the quicker car in the race, especially in the hands of Kevin Estre.
The Frenchman passed Calado for the class lead with two hours and 40 minutes to go and bridged out to a nearly ten-second margin prior to the the fifth Full Course Yellow of the race when both cars pitted.
“I wouldn’t say [Ferrari] was the quicker car,” Calado said. “I think Porsche still had the edge. They had a little bit more top speed.
“They struggled a little bit with the rear tires whereas we struggled a little bit with the front.
“It wasn’t what we really wanted. We wanted the car to be better in the end. In fact Kevin in the end was lightning quick with a new set of tires.
“I knew we had a chance because frankly speaking I was on double stint used tires and Kevin was on new.
“I kind of kept the gap as close as I could. Obviously it was down to Ale.”
Calado added: “We had less power. It’s not so much on speed but more torque from the engine… third, fourth fifth [gears].
“Despite everything that’s happened in the last two weeks, at the end of the day we put on a great show between the two manufacturers. The better team won.
“We just have to thank Ferrari, thank everyone involved, AF Corse, for doing such an amazing job over the whole year, really, not just this race.
“It’s just great to be champion for the second time. It’s great to beat Porsche. I think we have to get our heads down and start working for next year.”