WEC

Pipo Derani: Gap to Toyota more or less as expected

Pipo Derani believes that the gap Rebellion had to the Toyotas at the end of sunday's 4 Hours of Silverstone was along the lines of what the Swiss squad expected.

Derani, along with Nathanaël Berthon and Loic Duval, took the #3 Rebellion R13-Gibson to a third place finish in the season opener of the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship, finishing a lap behind the two Toyota TS050 Hybrid.

Speaking to Motorsport Week after the race, Derani said he was not surprised by the gap to the Japanese manufacturer.

"I think it’s more or less what we expected," the Brazilian said. I think during a qualifying lap we are quicker because the new tyres can help a little bit. But as we go into the stint, it gets harder and harder, especially with traffic, so it’s more or less where we should have been. Unfortunately with the penalty at the end, I’m not quite sure for what it was, it made us lose some ground, but it’s more or less what we expected.

The two privateer cars briefly held the lead on a number of occasions, with Derani leading in the second half of the race before ultimately losing out to the Toyotas, who were the dominant force despite running 100 kilograms of extra ballast under new Equivalence of Technology rules.

Despite a penalty, the #3 was able to take the third and final podium spot after the #1 of Bruno Senna, Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato encountered problems, including a nose change and a power steering issue.

"It’s always a good fight between the two Rebellions, we try to to be the top one", Derani continued. "Unfortunately for the other car, they had a few issues during the race. For myself, my first race in P1, it’s a good way to start a season in WEC, finish in third, which I think is the best of the rest.

We had a clean race, so yeah, surprising but at the same time, we worked hard for it and it’s nice to be on the podium."