Maranello, 23 December 2016 – Third and last part of the FIA WEC season review by Ferrari.com.
Japan and China. The WEC closed its 2016 in Asia with three consecutive races in the space of just over a month. In Japan, there was yet another change of BoP that, while slightly helping Ferrari, literally launched Ford into orbit. The two American GTs were on another planet pulling off a couple of one-twos and leaving Ferrari and Aston Martin to fight it out for the last place on the podium, which on both occasions went to Bruni and Calado. These results brought Ferrari to the final race with a 10-point lead over Aston Martin in the constructors’ championship, while Thiim and Sorensen were 12 points ahead of Rigon and Bird among the drivers. Bruni and Calado were only still in the race mathematically. On the other hand, in the GTE-Am class Collard-Perrodo-Aguas had done some brilliant damage limitation and arrived in Bahrain simply needing to finish the race to clinch the title.
Bahrain. Before the Sakhir race the BoP was adjusted for the tenth occasion in the season. This time it primarily affected Ford, while helping Aston Martin which could also count on Dunlop tyres that held up well against the Michelins of Ferrari on the boiling asphalt of Bahrain. In qualifying Johnny Adam and Darren Turner finished ahead of teammates Thiim and Sorensen, while the 488 GTE no. 51 was third and the no. 71 fifth. The first part of the race was an all British affair but at the stroke of the third hour in a single blow one of the two Vantages leading the GTE-Pro race had to pull out, along with the one in the GTE-Am, thus presenting Collard-Perrodo-Aguas with the drivers’ title, and AF Corse the team one. In the GTE-Pro Thiim and Sorensen won the race and drivers’ title, while second place for Bruni and Calado and third for Rigon and Bird, the latter pulling off an incredible overtake of the Ford, gave Ferrari a deserved constructors’ title, the fourth in five editions of the WEC, and sixth if we count the two International Le Mans Cup before the FIA turned the series into a world championship. Maranello could draw satisfaction not only from the triumph of the 488 against its rivals on the track but also from how it coped with the regulations that varied from race to race, something that for the good and credibility of the whole championship must be resolved in 2017.