Connect with us

Formula E

Todt: Calendar Clashes Result of “Misunderstandings”

FIA President Jean Todt comments on calendar clashes between Formula E and WEC…

Photo: Formula E

FIA President Jean Todt has described the reasons why three clashes between the 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E and FIA World Endurance Championships have occurred as being because of “misunderstandings and difficulties.”

Formula E announced its schedule on Friday with three dates set to be direct clashes with WEC events, the majority of which were originally announced in August.

The clashes see two ‘to be confirmed’ Formula E races in December and March on the same dates as the Bahrain and Sebring WEC events, in addition to another clash between the inaugural Seoul E-Prix and Six Hours of Spa on the first weekend of May.

Todt indicated he wasn’t able to “carefully” review the Formula E calendar proposal which was sent to the FIA World Motor Sport Council by Formula E Operations earlier this week.

It has also emerged that the FIA calendar commission, which was formed in 2017 to try and avert clashes between major championships, did not meet to discuss the congestion of dates between Formula E and WEC.

“The only thing I asked the calendar commission people, who sit together and work, if you have a commission and people don’t meet then I am sorry about that,” Todt told e-racing365 at Le Mans today.

“There [are] probably some misunderstandings and some difficulties about the calendars. It’s something I’ve been expressing very often.

“We have 52 weekends in the year and we’re mentioning the number of events we have so, unfortunately, there are some clashes between some dates and championships.”

The initial draft of the Formula E calendar changed recently after the original date of the season opener at Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, had to be switched from a Dec. 20-21 date to the final weekend of November.

A succession of events in early December meant that the double-header event could only take place on either of those dates but unhappiness on the close proximity to the Christmas break from some of the competing manufacturers forced Formula E’s hand.

The change from December to November itself created the issue of a seven-week gap to the Santiago E-Prix on Jan. 18. This meant Formula E placed the TBC event for Dec. 14 to break up the gap.

Sam Bird criticized the clashes today, saying “it just puts us in a terrible situation and I wish it could be sorted out. It’s very frustrating.”

Calendar Solutions “Could Be Found”

Todt, however, said that possible changes to the Formula E calendar might be implemented to alleviate the issues facing drivers and personnel that work in both championships.

In previous seasons Formula E calendars have changed such as when the Sao Paulo E-Prix was cancelled in Dec. 2017 and the Punta del Este race replaced it at short notice for the following March.

“Clearly, there’s an interest with certain drivers to participate in both championships,” said Todt. “I’ve already asked my people to see if some solutions could be found.

“I must say it’s not easy because each championship has its own needs, its own problems to solve, but if it’s something we can improve, we will do it.”

Todt also explained that there could be a solution for amendments to the Formula E calendar for the 2019-20 season.

“There will always be problems. I simply feel a bit unsatisfied that this [calendar] commission did not meet to try to address a problem before but it’s never too late to try.”

When asked if changes could be made specifically to the 2019-20 calendar Todt said: “For the coming season yes, if we can.”

John Dagys contributed to this report.

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

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Old Trombone

    June 17, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    I mean, F1’s Concorde Agreement, and WEC’s Hypercar contract, are due for renewal very soon…

    Solution – drivers get their national clubs to hire proper lawyers and insist on clauses in the new contracts that trigger compensation directly to drivers by the FIA for clashes in the FIA’s calendars. Big compensation. Then there would never be a clash in an FIA calendar ever, ever, again. Car racing types know that power only works through the traction you have available. Contracted compensation is traction like Michelin 1-lap quallies…

    Wanna learn about power that isn’t horsepower or Watts? Read Machiavelli and Foucault. Try these starters: Foucault: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBJTeNTZtGU , Machiavelli: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOXl0Ll_t9s

  2. Avatar

    Andy Flinn

    June 18, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    The FIA should hire someone who can work a calendar because this continues to be a problem.

    On the bright side, at least they no longer schedule an F1 race on the same weekend as Le Mans.

  3. Avatar

    Joseph Bottoms

    June 18, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    This really should not be happening and the excuse that they ‘didn’t have time to properly review the calendars’ is a disgrace.

    Surely Jean Todt or someone at the FIA could have put two pieces of paper with dates on them next to each other and seen that some of the dates are the same!

    Are they incompetent!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More in Formula E