Baku F1 organisers were not aware of Le Mans date clash for 2016

The CEO of Formula 1's race in Baku was initially unaware Azerbaijan's first grand prix would clash with the Le Mans 24 Hours next year

Baku F1 organisers were not aware of Le Mans date clash for 2016

The Grand Prix of Europe was originally handed a July 17 slot when the FIA released the 2016 calendar earlier this year.

When a revision was announced at the end of September, however, the race had switched to June 19, putting it in direct conflict with sportscar racing's most prestigious event.

The only concession for the race is the start time will be scheduled to avoid the conclusion of Le Mans.

With regard to the date change, and whether it was the organisers or FOM that made the switch, race chief Arif Rahimov said: "Basically, we did it together.

"There was a challenge with logistics and we had to think of a new date, and this was the more realistic date."

On the subject of the date clash with Le Mans, he said: "No, we weren't aware.

"But it's a busy calendar and really hard to accommodate to everyone's liking."

The date clash has prevented Force India F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg from returning to the Porsche line-up in 2016 to defend his Le Mans crown with Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber, although Porsche delayed making any decisions on its third car line-up in the hope of another date change.

Rahimov is eager to ensure there are no such issues in the future, adding: "For the coming years we're definitely going to try to avoid clashes as much as possible.

"The date will slightly change anyway from year to year, but we will try to make sure it doesn't clash with any major sporting events, especially motorsport events.

"It's a very unique season in 2016 with 21 races. There has not been a season with that many races.

"It's really hard not to clash with any major sporting event.

"We're clashing with not only Le Mans, but also with the European football championships.

"There is always the possibility of clashing with another big sporting event if you have a calendar of 21 races.

"If it hadn't have been us, it would have been another race clashing with Le Mans."

shares
comments
Mercedes: 2016 F1 exhaust rule change will 'improve' engine noise

Previous article

Mercedes: 2016 F1 exhaust rule change will 'improve' engine noise

Next article

Abu Dhabi GP: Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton in F1 practice two

Abu Dhabi GP: Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton in F1 practice two
Load comments
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus Plus

The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus

Graham Hill was nearly 30 when he made his Formula 1 debut. NIGEL ROEBUCK examines the life of a gifted racer whose talismanic personality defined an era

Formula 1
Sep 11, 2021