Future Le Mans 24 Hours/Formula 1 clash 'impossible' to avoid

FIA president Jean Todt says it is "mission impossible" to avoid future clashes between Formula 1 and the Le Mans 24 Hours because the motorsport calendar is so congested

Future Le Mans 24 Hours/Formula 1 clash 'impossible' to avoid

This year the famous endurance race was held on the same weekend as a grand prix for the first time since 2011, with the finish coinciding with the start of Formula 1's European Grand Prix in Baku.

World Endurance Championship boss Gerard Neveu called the scheduling a "clear attack" on his series when the F1 dates were announced last year, with Todt later apologising for the clash.

When asked if he was keen to avoid a similar schedule problem in the future, Todt said: "It's kind of mission impossible.

"We were talking about how many healthy series there are in motor racing, and we have only 52 weekends.

"I love watching MotoGP races, so very often it's combined with another race and I miss it sometimes.

"I watch touring car championships, MotoGP and then a Formula 1 race - it's great. You can go from one to another one."

Todt, who was speaking the the FIA Sport Conference, said he did not think the clash had a negative impact on the attendance at Le Mans.

He attended the start at Le Mans last Saturday before flying to Baku overnight for the F1 race day.

"I was in Le Mans and I never saw as many people," he said. "I don't think that Le Mans was penalised by having Baku at the same time.

"I was in Baku, and incidentally I was watching [Le Mans] and I could follow because [F1] started at 3pm and [Le Mans] finished at 3pm.

"So it was quite easy to follow the start of the race and the finish of Le Mans if you really wanted.

"I can understand that publications, one editor, if he has only one journalist and he wants him to cover both, it makes it difficult.

"[But] you can still write about the race without attending the race."

Todt said he sympathised with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone in having to fit 21 races into a calendar year given all the considerations of clashes that needed to be taken into account.

"Life is around compromise," he said. "I don't think anybody made really badly of that.

"I must sympathise for Bernie. He has 21 grands prix, then it's with national holidays... we have a lot of things.

"The judges [critics] - with due respect all of the time - they often don't have all the ingredients in hand to be able to make the final assessment.

"It is easy to criticise, but probably if you would be in this situation, you would not have managed to do better."

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