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.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global

Ferrari appeals rejection of its Spa WEC protest

Ferrari has appealed against the rejection of its protest at the Spa 6 Hours round of the World Endurance Championship in May.

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

It protested the stewards’ decision to restart the red-flagged race after the original finish time and therefore the provisional results immediately after the race.

The protest was thrown out, but Ferrari has now exercised its right of appeal, Ferrari sportscar racing boss Antonello Coletta has confirmed.

There has been no official statement from the FIA or the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, which jointly govern the WEC, concerning the appeal and Coletta insisted that it wasn’t the time to go into details.

“Yes we filed a complaint and we have filed an appeal,” he said on Wednesday ahead of the start of practice for the Le Mans 24 Hours WEC round.

“At this moment we prefer not to discuss any details and to be fair we don’t have a date for the hearing [at the International Court of Appeal].”

But Coletta went on to demand clarification of the rules.

He pointed to previous WEC races, including the 2013 Fuji and 2022 Sebring fixtures, were not restarted beyond the scheduled finish time after red flags caused by the weather.

Extending the timeframe in which the Spa race took place was unusual if not unprecedented in the history of the WEC since its rebirth in 2012, but was allowed under the series sporting regulations.

They state: “If the circumstances so require the stewards may take the decision to stop and/or modify the race time set. This may not exceed the time of the competition [meaning six hours].”

“We need to be clear on the interpretation for the future,” said Coletta.

“The most important thing is that we need clarity in terms of the rules.

“It is important to know exactly what will happen to make the correct decisions.

He described the decision to restart the race 10 minutes after the original 7pm local time scheduled finish as “astonishing and completely unexpected”.

#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

The two Ferrari 499P Le Mans Hypercars were running 1-2 when the race was red-flagged after Earl Bamber’s Ganassi-run Cadillac V-Series.R LMDh triggered a crash also involving the #31 WRT BMW M4 GT3 driven by Sean Gelael on the Kemmel Straight.

The accident happened four hours and 13 minutes into the race but the repairs to the barriers were not finished in time to allow a restart before the scheduled 7pm finish.

A decision was taken by the stewards to resume the race at 7:10pm for a period of one hour and 44 minutes, the remaining time left on the clock minus the three minutes from the red flag being shown to the cars forming up on the grid in parc ferme conditions.

Ferrari ended up finishing third and fourth with its #50 and #51 factory entries after the winning #12 Jota Porsche 963 LMDh and the second-placed #6 factory Porsche Penske Motorsport gained time as a result of the red flag because they had pitted just before the stoppage.

An explainer sent out by the FIA in the wake of the race stated that the decision to complete the full duration fo the Spa 6 Hours “ensured sporting fairness for the competitors, who set their strategies for a six-hour race”.

“Cutting the race session short would mean that some competitors would gain, and others would lose as a result,” it continued.

Read Also:

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Why BMW shouldn't be discounted on its Le Mans return
Next article Makowiecki shrugs off "politics" after Toyota names Porsche as Le Mans favourite

Top Comments

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.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global