Baku F1 qualifying to clash with Le Mans start

Qualifying for the inaugural European Grand Prix in Azerbaijan will clash with the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Baku F1 qualifying to clash with Le Mans start
Crystal Hall in Baku
Baku by night
Baku atmosphere

Both events have been scheduled for the weekend of 17-19 June, and while the FIA has been trying to find a solution to avoid a direct clash, F1 qualifying will kick off at the same time as the endurance classic.

Baku qualifying will begin at 6pm local time on Saturday, while Le Mans will kick off at 3pm French time.

Both times are 2pm GMT.

The Baku race will also kick off at 6pm, meaning the grand prix will start right as the Le Mans 24 Hours ends, at 3pm French time.

The Azerbaijan event could also face the risk of fading light in case of delays, with the sun to set slightly after 9pm.

"Clash impossible to avoid"

FIA president Jean Todt had said at the end of last year that he expected the Baku race to start at midday.

"For Le Mans, I am quite confident that having Baku, the start will be at midday, the finishing of Le Mans is at 3pm," Todt said.

The Frenchman added that some clashes were simply impossible to avoid.

"The calendar as an exercise is a very tricky job because you have 21 races in F1, you have 10 races in Formula E, you have 10 races also in WEC," said Todt.

"You have 14 rallies next year. So to make one calendar without any conflict is simply not possible."

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