WEC 2023: Calado Rues Missed Opportunity in Spa Qualifying

    Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – In a bittersweet qualifying session for the Spa 6 Hours, the third round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), British driver James Calado of the #51 Ferrari 499P Le Mans Hypercar team expressed his disappointment after failing to advance to the Hyperpole session.

    Calado revealed that he made mistakes on his two quickest laps, which ultimately left him outside the top 10 cars that progressed to the final session. It was his team-mate, Antonio Fuoco, who claimed pole position in the sister Ferrari by a margin of half a second.

    “I screwed up both laps basically,” Calado told WEC News. “I went long into Turn 5 [Les Combes] on the first lap; I lost the car, my mistake. Then on the second lap I was two or three tenths up and then at Turn 12 [Fagnes], I did exactly the same thing โ€” so I messed up twice.”

    Calado’s best time of 2m03.002s put him 11th in the qualifying order, missing out on a spot in Hyperpole by just two hundredths of a second. “It was tight: the reality was that without those mess-ups I could have been in Hyperpole,” he said.

    The Briton, who was last year’s Le Mans 24 Hours winner alongside Alessandro Pier Guidi and Antonio Giovinazzi, conceded that he would not have been able to challenge Fuoco for the top spot had he made it into the final session. “I couldn’t have challenged Antonio – he was just too fast,” Calado admitted.

    Despite the disappointment, Calado remains confident in the #51 Ferrari’s race pace, based on the car’s performance during free practice. “Our performance on paper from our race runs looks pretty good,” he explained. “We are confident we have got a plan for the race. Unlike last time at Imola, here you can overtake and there is a lot more tyre management involved, so I hope we can fight forward.”

    The Spa 6 Hours, the third round of the 2023 WEC season, is scheduled to start at 13:00 local time on Saturday.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source