Makowiecki responds to Ferrari's suspicions about tire heating: 'Last year I didn't see them complaining much'

After Antonello Coletta's allegations concerning tire heating - targeting Porsche without mentioning them - Frédéric Makowiecki responded with irony, but also with a certain annoyance.

Published on 15/06/2024 à 11:28

Dorian Grangier

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Makowiecki responds to Ferrari's suspicions about tire heating: 'Last year I didn't see them complaining much'

© Javier Jimenez / DPPI

The 24H of Le Mans are not yet over and the first suspicions are already brewing in the paddock. The main subject of discussion in garages, the removal of tire heating is causing debate and arousing suspicion. At the house of Ferrari, especially. In the Italian clan, the performance of the competition raises questions, particularly on the ability to bring the tires to the right temperature more quickly and thus gain several seconds on the pit exit lap. In our columns, Antonello Coletta had notably expressed some doubts about the proper respect of the rule in Hypercar.

Porsche arouses suspicion

“We have already seen in other races that certain teams have had approaches, let's say very naive, and this will be very dangerous for sporting fairness throughout the duration of the event if there is no control during the course of the competition. (…) In Imola, and the commissioners saw who [had not respected the rule], affirmed the program manager Endurance. I won't tell you which teams were called to order, of course! I hope this serves as a good warning. If we make such a crucial rule, the monitoring of its application must be up to standard and this in all garages, not just some. »

Between the lines, it is easy to understand that Ferrari aims in particular Porsche. Since the start of the season, the German manufacturer has had the greatest ease in getting the tires up to temperature, as evidenced by the two victories acquired in Qatar and Spa (with JOTA), and the second place obtained at Imola. Saturday, a few hours before the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Frédéric Makowiecki returned to these suspicions expressed by the Italian team.

"That's not true!" Who is accusing? », he replied with humor, before resuming a more serious and annoyed tone. “At some point, they have to take responsibility a little when they make big statements like that. These people question themselves quite weakly. In relation to that, it's good to highlight certain things: we are checked at each race. What I like though is that some of our competitors sometimes come and touch our tires before we leave. It’s still quite interesting! »

“They’re still a little bit comical!” »

The driver of the No. 5 Porsche – who will start from tenth place on Saturday afternoon – is surprised that these allegations come just before the 24 Hours of Le Mans and compares the situation to last year. “What we must say is that tire heating is also linked to deterioration, and has always been, explains the French pilot. These people can accuse us of heating up our tires quickly, but last year, when we were deteriorating much more than everyone else, I didn't see them complaining much. At some point, they are a bit comical! »

“We know that the more energy we are able to put into the tires, the sooner they will warm up, but the less consistent we will be. Since the start of the year, we find ourselves in situations where, for the moment, it is difficult to put energy into the tires. So it's certain that where we had an advantage this year, it was a disadvantage last year because as a general rule, it was often much warmer and we deteriorated more. These people, I didn't see them complaining too much [last year] saying to themselves: 'Porsche, they're really out of luck this year, they're deteriorating more.' So let's let them talk. And then, if they think we're cheating... it's nothing. »

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Dorian Grangier

A young journalist nostalgic for the motorsport of yesteryear. Raised on the exploits of Sébastien Loeb and Fernando Alonso.

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