Formula One’s longstanding, albeit unofficial, policy of intentionally scheduling races such that they conflict with other series’ events is over.
F1 sporting director Ross Brawn, World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu and Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag met in May during the weekend of the Monaco Grand Prix to hash out a deal that would avoid major scheduling conflicts between the three categories in future seasons, according to Autosport.
F1 and the WEC, per the agreement, won’t host races on the same date in the same country. This largely is a way to ensure the single-seater circuit doesn’t compete with the 24 Hours of Le Mans, given that the French Grand Prix will return to the calendar in 2018.
“Le Mans will be a protected weekend,” Neveu told Autosport, “and we will not have F1 and the WEC at the same time in the same country, because that does not make sense.”
Former long-time F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone preferred to have grand prix clash with other races in hopes of detracting from their viewerships. Ecclestone’s philosophy was that F1 should be the central focus of the motorsport world, a belief his successor, Chase Carey, staunchly opposes.
“This sport has been underserved by a perpetual, short-term, deal-of-the-day focus and one that has lacked a strategy, vision and longer-term plan, and a willingness to invest,” Carey said while speaking at this week’s FIA Sport Conference, via the Guardian.
FE and the WEC have understandably agreed to avoid hosting any races on the same dates as many drivers, including points leader Sebastien Buemi, compete in both series. The Frenchman will have to skip FE’s inaugural New York City ePrix this year to compete in the WEC’s 6 Hours of Nurburgring, and that might prove critical in the championship.
Thumbnail photo via Red Bull Content Pool