FE won't move WEC race clashes, Eindhoven/Brazil linked with races

ABB FIA Formula E deputy CEO Alberto Longo insists the electric championship is "not going to move" its clashing race dates with the World Endurance Championship in 2019/20

FE won't move WEC race clashes, Eindhoven/Brazil linked with races

Next season's FE calendar was revealed at the World Motor Sport Council meeting last week, with three dates clashing with the respective WEC races in Bahrain (FE's TBC December 14 race), at Sebring (the second FE TBC on March 21 2019), and Spa (FE's inaugural Seoul E-Prix).

FIA president Jean Todt said that the governing body is trying to find a solution to the problem, which will impact on several drivers who have deals to race in both series.

When asked if it was up to the WEC to move its events rather than FE, Longo told Autosport: "We are not going to move - that's for sure.

"If we are to do a race [on the TBCs], it will be those weekends. [Also,] Seoul is confirmed.

"The calendar is announced already - that's it. We don't need to speak about it, it's just what it is.

"We are very tight on choosing our calendars and hopefully they can move. If they cannot move, we will clash. It's not the end of the world, at all."

Longo indicated that the FIA had contacted FE about possibly moving its races on the clashing dates, but added: "At the end, we have fixed dates and we cannot move from there.

"So if [the WEC] races are confirmed, unfortunately, they are going to be on those weekends that have been announced."

In his briefing at last weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours, Todt also explained that a "calendar commission" had been created to try and avoid such clashing scenarios between the FIA-governed championships.

Todt then suggested the group had not met over the two 2019/20 calendars.

Regarding Todt's comments on this group, Longo said: "I don't know if that is called a calendar commission, [but] we have been in a meeting with all the promoters of the FIA championships.

"The final goal of that meeting was to sit together and see if we [could] manage not to have a race on the same weekend from different championships. We have met in the last two seasons."

Longo also stated that organising the FE calendar is a "bigger challenge" for the series than other championships because it races in city centres.

"Racing in the centre of the cities brings a lot more complexity to our calendar," he added.

"You need to bear in mind that we don't want to clash with WEC, we don't want to clash with Formula 1, we don't want to clash with [other] major international events.

"But on top of that, we need to see what the calendar of the events for the city that we're racing in is.

"And that gives us very small windows, much smaller than what people would think about.

"In most of the cases, I don't have two weekends to choose out of the whole year.

"So it's a huge challenge and what I always ask in these meetings is 'you need to be more flexible with us' because for them to change one weekend up or down shouldn't be a big problem.

"But for us, it's a yes or no [with cities].

"So that's exactly why we place the weekends - where we find an agreement with the cities, and try not to clash with any other motorsport events."

Autosport understands that the prospect of the WEC moving its clashing dates with FE is remote.

The Dutch city of Eindhoven and several locations in Brazil have also been linked with hosting future FE races.

It is understood that a team of entrepreneurs from Eindhoven is working to bring FE to the city for a possible race in the 2020/21 season.

Autosport understands that a feasibility study is yet to be conducted in Eindhoven, but the team has approached FE regarding the opening steps for organising a race.

In a separate development, the Brazilian Tourism minister, Marcelo Alvaro Antonio, met with Todt this week to discuss possible locations for an FE race in the country.

Areas in Rio de Janeiro (pictured above), Brasilia and Belo Horizonte were presented as options, with the Ministry later publishing a statement on its website saying Todt had given Antonio a "guarantee" regarding a future race.

When asked about these developments, Longo said: "I cannot really give you details on my negotiations with different cities.

"What I can tell you is that I'm negotiating at the same time with over 50 cities in the world. And these two are both on this list.

"Negotiations are going on and hopefully by between March and June next year we will again communicate what will be the calendar for season seven."

Longo clarified that a Brazilian race is not currently under consideration for the open December 14 TBC slot on the 2018/19 FE calendar.

"It's different - the TBCs are from some cities but not these two. It's all for season seven these negotiations [with Eindhoven and Brazil] are on-going."

shares
comments
Bern Formula E shakedown delayed as track work not finished

Previous article

Bern Formula E shakedown delayed as track work not finished

Next article

Bern Formula E: Mahindra's Wehrlein beats Techeetah duo in practice

Bern Formula E: Mahindra's Wehrlein beats Techeetah duo in practice
Load comments
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Plus

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Plus

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Plus

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Plus

How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning Plus

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Plus

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021
The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion Plus

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass

Formula E
Aug 17, 2021
How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms Plus

How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms

As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes

Formula E
Aug 16, 2021