WEC investigating F1 calendar clash with races in Japan in 2019

The World Endurance Championship says it will investigate what it can do to avert an "unfeasible" clash between its 2019 Fuji event and Formula 1's Japanese Grand Prix

WEC investigating F1 calendar clash with races in Japan in 2019

F1 released its provisional 2019 calendar on Friday, with the Suzuka date moving back a week to October 14 - the same weekend announced two weeks ago for next year's WEC Fuji 6 Hours.

Any move in the WEC date would mean it would no longer overlap with the IMSA SportsCar Championship's Petit Le Mans season finale, allowing drivers to contest both events.

Asked about the clash with the Suzuka F1 race, a WEC spokesperson told Autosport: "Gerard [Neveu] and the WEC team will be looking at this issue in the coming days.

"As he has said in the past, when we changed our Fuji race date this year, it's not a feasible option for Japan to host two major FIA races on the same weekend."

Autosport understands that F1's desire to avoid a triple-header was a factor in picking the clashing Japanese GP date. It was also was selected in agreement with the race promoter.

The date of this year's Fuji WEC race, which takes place on October 14, was moved twice.

It was shifted back a week to avert an unpopular clash with Petit Le Mans, only to have to revert to its original date when Fernando Alonso signed up to contest the 2018/19 WEC season with Toyota, creating an awkward clash on his schedule with the United States GP at Austin.

The Suzuka/Fuji clash is one of four conflicts between the F1 and WEC schedules next year.

Sebring's 1000-mile WEC event will take place on the same mid-March weekend as the F1 curtain-raising Australian GP in Melbourne, while WEC's Silverstone (September 1) and Shanghai (November 17) races clash with the Belgian and Brazilian GPs respectively.

The Spa 6 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours, however, both fall on free weekends for F1 next year.

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Series WEC
Author Jamie Klein
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