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Vote to allow Formula E drivers with WEC Spa/Berlin clash to race rejected

A decision on whether to allow Formula E drivers who have clashing World Endurance Championship commitments to also compete in the Berlin E-Prix has been rejected, Autosport has learned.

Edoardo Mortara, Mahindra Racing, Nyck de Vries, Mahindra Racing

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

An electronic vote was put to all 11 Formula E team principals during the Sao Paolo E-Prix event this weekend to determine whether an FIA regulation that would prevent certain drivers from racing in Berlin could be bypassed.

The unique situation comes as the first of two Berlin Formula E races, due to be held across the 11-12 May, will clash with the WEC’s Six Hours of Spa.

Seven drivers are running dual campaigns this season and in theory it would have been possible for those racing in Belgium on the Saturday to travel across to Germany to race in the all-electric championship on the Sunday.

However, an FIA regulation means that the Berlin E-Prix double-header is considered a sole event despite two races being held, currently making it so teams cannot switch drivers between the races unless the decision was unanimously agreed by all 11 teams.

A statement from the FIA ahead of the vote read: “As the Berlin E-Prix is a competition comprised of two races as set out in Article 5.5, a change of driver after the end of the administrative checks is not authorised except in case of force majeure and with the authorisation of the stewards in accordance with Articles 19.1 and 24.15.

“Therefore, it is necessary to grant these drivers special authorisation and the unanimous agreement of competitors is necessary.”

Sebastien Buemi, Envision Racing, Robin Frijns, Envision Racing

Sebastien Buemi, Envision Racing, Robin Frijns, Envision Racing

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Autosport understands that at least one team rejected the proposal, with seven of the 11 teams not fielding any drivers with WEC commitments.

The decision ultimately means those drivers who race at Spa will not be permitted to also race in Berlin the next day.

The drivers this could apply to includes both Envision racers Sebastien Buemi and Robin Frijns, both DS Penske drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne, Nyck de Vries and Edoardo Mortara from Mahindra, as well as Abt’s Nico Muller.

Both Vergne and Vandoorne confirmed they would prioritise Formula E over WEC in the event of the clash, while it’s understood that Mortara will also commit to the Berlin double-header.

Although not confirmed, it’s believed Toyota WEC drivers Buemi and de Vries, as well as BMW’s Frijns and Peugeot’s Muller, will prioritise the WEC meaning they will be forced to miss both races in Germany.

None of the affected teams have yet to formally announce which reserve drivers will participate in the Berlin E-Prix double-header.

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