Both Ferrari LMH cars hit early trouble in Qatar WEC

The Italian manufacturer started the Qatar 1812Km on a promising note with Miguel Molina storming into the lead in the #50 Ferrari 499P with a brilliant launch from fourth on the grid.

But it soon became clear that Molina didn’t have the pace to stay at the front, with Nico Muller in the #93 Peugeot 9X8 moving past him at Turn 2 after 30 minutes.

Ferrari elected to bring Molina early for a fuel and tyre stop, but the 35-year-old erroneously crossed the white line at the pit entry, picking up a drive-through penalty for the offence.

Molina soon returned to the pits to serve the sanction, dropping all the way down to 15th in the order.

Not too long after, the entire tail-end of the #51 car driven by James Calado fell out of the car on the short dash to Turn 16, possibly due to contact with one of United Autosports’ McLaren 720S GT3s exiting Turn 15.

The rear wing flew of the car and nearly hit the #59 McLaren that was running behind him.

#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: JEP / Motorsport Images

Calado was able to bring the car back into the pits, but the change in the rear bodywork dropped him, Antonio Giovinazzi and Alessandro Pier Guidi two laps off the lead.

Calado’s pitstop was also being investigated by the stewards for a possible breach of regulations, but he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

After the FCY deployed to retrieve the rear wing of the Ferrari was removed, the #51 Ferrari was circulating down in 18th place, only ahead of the Isotta Fraschini Tipo 6 in the 19-car Hypercar class.

The sister #50 Ferrari came back into the pits for a third stop, with Molina jumping out of the car to hand over the car to team-mate Nicklas Nielsen. Nielsen joined the track down in 17th position.

Porsche leads the race outright with the factory #6 Penske car, after Laurens Vanthoor passed Muller’s Peugeot in the middle of the second hour.

Ferrari’s best hope of a top result now remains in the hands of the AF Corse’s customer entry, which was running 14th after a pitstop just before the end of hour 2.


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