Ferrari reveals first-ever updates to Le Mans-winning Hypercar

Ferrari has revealed its first performance updates for its 499P Le Mans Hypercar ahead of this weekend’s Interlagos round of the World Endurance Championship.

The Scuderia has embarked on a redesign of the brake cooling ducts, aimed at improving cooling efficiency, and made some minor aerodynamic modifications as part of the first package of upgrades since the car made its debut last season.

Ferdinando Cannizzo, Head of Endurance Race Cars, explains that Ferrari does not anticipate it will result in improved lap times for the 499P that won the Le Mans 24 Hours last month, but will allow for «greater versatility and easier adaptation of the car on circuits where braking performance is more demanding and decisive».

«Despite the car’s excellent performance in the 2023 season, we experienced limitations with brake cooling,» he said.

«Therefore, we defined and developed a new cooling duct design in the wind tunnel and on the track to change the flow distribution and deliver greater efficiency.

«The modification impacted the balance of the 499P, which we restored to the desired value by adjusting other areas of the car.

«Specifically, we modified the underbody, adjusted the heights of some ‘gurney flaps’, and introduced a ‘flick’ under the front headlights.

«The upgrade has allowed us to maintain the 499P’s position within the ‘performance window’ specified by the technical regulations.»

#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: Emanuele Clivati | AG Photo

Manufacturers are permitted to use five evo jokers over the lifespan of a LMH or LMDh prototype, and Cannizzo had remarked at Le Mans prior to the marque’s second win at the WEC blue riband with the 449P that it had planned to introduce its first «this year or next year».

Antonio Fuoco, Nicklas Nielsen and Miguel Molina’s victory at Le Mans has lifted them to second in the Hypercar standings, nine points behind Penske Porsche Motorsport drivers Andre Lotterer, Kevin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor in the 963 LMDh, while Ferrari is the same margin behind Porsche in the Hypercar manufacturers’ classification.

James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Antonio Giovinazzi are 51 points back from the PPM crew in sixth.

Ferrari has not tested at Interlagos prior to the track’s first outing as part of the WEC calendar since 2014, but has regained the engine power it lost ahead of Le Mans with a 1.7% reduction in maximum power above 250km/h (155mph) in the Balance of Performance.

The 6 Hours of Sao Paulo meeting will begin with first practice at 10.45am local time on Friday.

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