Ferrari testing with two 499P WEC hypercars from early stage

Ferrari has revealed that it has been testing with two of its new 499P Le Mans Hypercars since early in the design’s development programme this summer.

The Italian manufacturer devised a test strategy in which it focussed on reliability with one car and performance with the other as it strived to catch up on the competitors it will face in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Hypercar class next year. 

Ferdinando Cannizzo, head of design and development at Ferrari’s Attivita Sportive GT sportscar department, revealed that chassis two came on stream for the second proper circuit test of the 499P, which is understood to have taken place at Mugello in August.  

“One was focussed on performance, and on this car we didn’t care about reliability,” explained. Cannizzo.

“The other one we have is to put to mileage on all the parts to understand where are the major issues we have to solve. 

“This was the only chance to cope with the small window we have [for testing ahead of the car’s 2023 WEC campaign]."

Ferrari 499P

Photo by: Ferrari

Ferrari’s test strategy with two cars has contrasted with that of Peugeot and Porsche, who it will face in the WEC next year along with Toyota, Cadillac and, possibly, Glickenhaus.

Peugeot has focussed on testing with a single 9X8 LMH before and after the race debut of the car at the Monza WEC round in July.  

Porsche, meanwhile, didn’t have a second 963 LMDh prototype up and running until six months into a development programme that started a full year ahead of its scheduled race debut at the Daytona 24 Hours IMSA SportsCar Championship season-opener in January.

The Ferrari LMH, which was officially launched at Imola on Saturday evening, ran for the first time on 6 July at the Fiorano test track.

Ferrari hasn’t divulged full details of the dates and locations of its test programme, though it has talked about an intent to be out on track every two weeks and revealed on the unveiling of the 499P that the design has now completed more than 12,000km.

The three-day Fiorano shakedown was followed by a first proper circuit test at Barcelona, while the cars are also known to have tested at Mugello, the Algarve circuit near Portimao and Monza earlier this month. 

Sources have revealed that Ferrari hasn’t had two cars at all the tests and has sometimes preferred to run one on the rig rather than on race track. 

Cannizzo didn’t hide the fact that the 499P has encountered problems during testing. 

“At the very first shakedown of the car we were surprised because we ran two or three days without problems,” he explained. 

“Then clearly some reliability issues popped up, which is good because it is better to have them sooner rather than later. 

“We were able to able to react promptly to this.”

Cannizzo stated that there will be an endurance simulation with the 499P in the near future, but did not lay down a timeframe for what is likely to be a 36-hour test. 

“We are more than 12,000km and soon we will make a simulation, for sure, he said. 

“We are working hard to understand what are the weak points of the car.”

Cannizzo confirmed that the chassis presented in its 2023 livery for the 499P launch at the Finali Mondiali Ferrari event at Imola was one of the two development cars that have been running through the summer. 

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