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Ferrari eyes joker upgrades to Le Mans-winning 499P

Ferrari has yet to use any of the five evo jokers permitted to make performance upgrades across the lifespan of an LMH or LMDh prototype

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

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

Photo by: Marc Fleury

Ferrari is eyeing a performance upgrade of its Le Mans 24 Hours-winning 499P that could come on stream before the end of this year’s World Endurance Championship. 

Ferdinando Cannizzo, technical director of Ferrari’s sportscar operations, stated before and after it retained its Le Mans crown last weekend that the Italian manufacturer is looking to exploit the evo joker rules that govern car development in the Hypercar class. 

He explained that no timeline has been set for what remains an unspecified revision to the Ferrari Le Mans Hypercar and that it might come as late as the start of next season. 

“We are thinking about introducing a joker this year or next year,” Cannizzo said between the Le Mans Test Day and the start of running during race week. 

“We haven't made any decision yet, but we are further developing this joker because we've identified areas for improvement.”

After the race, Cannizzo conceded that Toyota, with which it battled for the victory last weekend, was the faster car in wet and mixed conditions but that the Ferrari “was more competitive in the dry”. 

“We know the areas we would like to improve,” he said. 

“We need to be much more competitive in all conditions —  this race is a perfect lesson for us.”

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

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

Photo by: Emanuele Clivati | AG Photo

Ferrari has so far yet to use one of the five evo jokers performance upgrades allowed to a manufacturer over the lifespan of a LMH or LMDh prototype. 

It stated at the end of last year that it was evaluating introducing one for 2024, but confirmed ahead of the season-opener in Qatar in March that it had opted against bringing one on stream

Cannizzo stated pre-Qatar that it was important that Ferrari first “exploit the potential of the base car”  

“Before we apply for any jokers we want to understand the ultimate performance of our car,” he said.

A manufacturer must apply to the WEC rule makers, the FIA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, to be able to take one of the evo jokers available to it. 

The take-up of evo jokers is not in the public domain and is not shared by the FIA and the ACO with the manufacturers. 

It is not known, for example, how many were used by Toyota for its revisions to the GR010 HYBRID LMH for the 2022 and ’23 seasons or by Peugeot for its reworking of the 9X8 LMH for ’23 and then this year.
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