Calado has "mixed emotions" about Ferrari podium

James Calado says he was left with “mixed emotions” after Sunday’s FIA World Endurance Championship round in Austin after balance issues thwarted any chance of taking victory in the GTE Pro category.

Calado has "mixed emotions" about Ferrari podium

Calado and AF Corse teammate Alessandro Pier Guidi secured the final spot on the podium at the Circuit of the Americas after the British driver successfully passed the #97 Aston Martin of Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin in the final hour.

The result marked only the second podium of the 2019/20 WEC season for the #51 Ferrari, but Calado and Pier Guidi were never in contention for race victory - with even a rostrum finish looking unlikely at one stage.

Calado said the team ought to derive satisfaction from the points haul it secured in the first North American round of the season, but admitted that a chance of victory was lost because of a poorly-balanced car.

“We struggled with balance, especially at the start of the race in hotter conditions,” Calado told Motorsport.com. “Then basically both cars had a lot of understeer and we struggled in that respect. I think we were there to fight. 

“It wasn’t a smooth race in terms of traffic and things like that. Towards the end I pushed as hard as I could. [I] think our tyre wear was good.

“The Aston struggled a bit with brakes. So we caught them out. And managed to make a move. Bit kamikaze from Alex [Lynn]. But it makes a good show; it’s good racing. 

“So to get third, kind of mixed emotions. I thought we could have won it today. Again, I think with the balance issue we just missed a couple of tenths a lap. Probably [we lost] five seconds per stint and that was probably the biggest thing. 

“The points are good, but the car was amazing yesterday and today we struggled. We didn’t change anything. So we need to look at what the issue is.”

Calado and Pier Guidi remain second in the GTE drivers’ standings after Austin, but the championship-leading #95 Aston Martin crew of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen has extended its advantage to 26 points after its third victory in five races.

Calado had previously conceded that the title chances of the #51 Ferrari were over after Bahrain, but he and Pier Guidi were catapulted back into contention after their victory in Shanghai was reinstated by the FIA

“I think we are flat out, we got nothing left to give,” Calado said. “We’ll see if we can fight. We don’t know what the others are doing. They might have more, they might not - who knows? 

“I think the Aston does [have more pace]. We could stay with them on the straights today, whereas there have been races where they’ve initially pissed off in the distance. 

“It seems they’ve got a little bit more, but let’s see what happens. Sebring is a long race, it’s hard on the cars."

shares
comments
JOTA podium "shouldn't have been", says Davidson

Previous article

JOTA podium "shouldn't have been", says Davidson

Next article

Rosenqvist set for Le Mans return with DragonSpeed

Rosenqvist set for Le Mans return with DragonSpeed
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Event COTA
Drivers Alessandro Pier Guidi , James Calado
Teams AF Corse
Author Rachit Thukral
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Prime

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
How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy Prime

How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy

Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger Prime

The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger

Toyota's new GR010 contender for the World Endurance Championship's Hypercar era has little in common with the LMP1 TS050 that preceded it. But within the confines of the scaled back new rules, its latest challenger will be no less formidable a prospect

WEC
Jan 22, 2021
The tiny increments that decided the final LMP1-era WEC Prime

The tiny increments that decided the final LMP1-era WEC

The system of success handicaps devised by the FIA World Endurance Championship to level the LMP1 playing field in the category's swansong season ended up having a counterproductive effect, as COVID cancellations also played in the champions' favour.

WEC
Dec 5, 2020
Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars Prime

Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars

OPINION: The news that Audi will return to Le Mans means we'll at last get to see the fight promised in 2012 against Peugeot and Toyota. It also gives LMDh a tangible form, which could open the floodgates for more like-minded marques to follow suit…

WEC
Dec 1, 2020
The eternal debate revived after the 2019/20 WEC season Prime

The eternal debate revived after the 2019/20 WEC season

It may have been missed amid the clamour over Lewis Hamilton's seventh F1 title, but Britain had another world champion crowned last weekend. Mike Conway's WEC crown raises an old conundrum - does title glory make up for the pain of Le Mans defeat?

WEC
Nov 19, 2020