Formula E working on solution to WEC calendar clash

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag will meet team bosses this week to discuss possible solutions to the 2017 calendar clash with the World Endurance Championship

Formula E working on solution to WEC calendar clash

The WEC's announcement last month that it intends to return to the Nurburgring on July 16 next year goes against a gentleman's agreement between the series and FE to avoid clashes.

A number of FE drivers compete in both categories, including 2015/16 FE champion Sebastien Buemi and runner-up Lucas di Grassi, who are contracted to Toyota and Audi in the WEC respectively.

"We were very surprised, we discussed this with WEC and they gave me their dates and this was not one," Agag told Autosport.

"I don't think they did it on purpose, they probably had a problem and had to change it.

"We sit down together and work [the calendars] out, and I think we will still do it - it's not the beginning of war or anything.

"It's a bit of a headache. I want to speak to the teams tomorrow here [at Donington Park, where the first pre-season test is taking place].

"I want to see what their preference is. If everybody says 'let's change it', I'll go for that. If they say 'keep the date', I will keep the date."

Agag said risking the ire of manufacturers by making drivers choose between series was not a "responsible" thing to do.

"We want to keep our manufacturers happy," he said. "If we consciously put them in front of tough decisions that's not good - I will not do that."

A 2017 WEC calendar has not been ratified by the FIA, with the next World Motor Sport Council meeting scheduled for September.

Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich, who has two LMP1 drivers - di Grassi and Loic Duval - racing in FE, said this gave him hope a solution could be reached.

"It is not a good idea, but as the long as it hasn't been approved by the World Council it is not done," he said.

"I have a minimum of two drivers about whom I have concerns.

"It is in our interest that they don't clash, so we need to talk about it."

Agag said it would create "a domino effect" if FE is forced to move its Montreal date.

The Canadian event is due to take place two weeks after the final European round of the season in Brussels and two weeks before the New York finale.

It is understood FE requires two weeks between races in order to transport the cars and the necessary infrastructure, so Agag ruled out hosting the Montreal and New York races back-to-back.

The WEC was unavailable for comment when contacted by Autosport but a Nurburgring spokesperson said July 14-16 "was requested by WEC, and we were able to confirm this specific date".

shares
comments
Dean Stoneman to make Formula E test debut at Donington with NextEV

Previous article

Dean Stoneman to make Formula E test debut at Donington with NextEV

Next article

Sebastien Buemi fastest in first Formula E test at Donington Park

Sebastien Buemi fastest in first Formula E test at Donington Park
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