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
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
Jul 24, 2021
How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak Prime

How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak

The FIA World Endurance Championship's long-awaited return to Monza posed the sternest test yet for Toyota's new hypercar. Although the Japanese marque's GR010 Hybrid remains unbeaten, the victory for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi was far from plain sailing.

WEC
Jul 19, 2021
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Prime

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

Le Mans
Jun 23, 2021
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear Prime

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance.

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota Prime

Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota

This weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the FIA World Endurance Championship marks the 100th world champion prototype start for Toyota. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago.

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021