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Formula E, WEC Date Clash Possible in December

A clash between the Ad Diriyah E-Prix and 8H Bahrain could happen this December…

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ABB FIA Formula E Championship chairman Alejandro Agag has acknowledged that the series could face a date clash with the FIA World Endurance Championship later this year.

If the 2019 Ad Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia takes place on the same weekend as last month’s inaugural running, it would clash with the WEC round in Bahrain.

The WEC’s return to the Arabian peninsula will be marked by an eight-hour race at Bahrain International Circuit on Dec. 14, and is already set to clash with the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi.

While the date of the Ad Diriyah E-Prix has not yet been set in stone, a Dec. 14 running would place the two FIA series on the same weekend for the first time since July 2017.

Agag has said he will try to avoid a schedule conflict and is less concerned than he was when the New York E-Prix clashed with a WEC race at the Nürburgring two seasons ago.

“It is likely to be on the same weekend although we could also go to January, but it will be around this period of time,” Agag told e-racing365.

“Before we used to have manufacturers that had clashes but now there are very few that do and also less drivers, so I think it’s not a concern.

“We always try not to clash so if we can put one weekend forward or backward we will try and do it.”

The last clash between Formula E and the WEC created considerable difficulty for teams and drivers, including Sebastien Buemi and Jose Maria Lopez who missed the double-header New York E-Prix because of their Toyota LMP1 commitments.

This resulted in a loss of championship points for both drivers and contributed to Buemi losing out on the Season Three title to Lucas di Grassi.

Six drivers – Buemi, Lopez, Sam Bird, Tom Dillmann, Antonio Felix da Costa and Andre Lotterer – currently compete in both championships but this number is likely to change for the 2019-20 seasons.

Formula E’s return to Saudi Arabia is expected to serve as the opening round again, with the most likely date in the event of a change being Dec. 8.

A move one week later to Dec. 21 is unlikely due to the close proximity of the Christmas holidays, although the Punta del Este E-Prix was held as late as Dec. 19 in 2015.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Lotus

    January 9, 2019 at 2:17 am

    Makes sense… there’s a ton of races in December, its the bussiest month for motorsport innit, hard to not make 2 events clash.

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