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Relief for fans as motorsport calendars are to be 'harmonised' by FIA to avoid clashes

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Relief for fans as motorsport calendars are to be 'harmonised' by FIA to avoid clashes
May 29, 2017, 1:16 PM

Following numerous examples of Formula 1 events and other major motorsport events happening on the same date, the FIA is actively working with its ...

Following numerous examples of Formula 1 events and other major motorsport events happening on the same date, the FIA is actively working with its main international promoters including F1, to avoid clashes for the sake of spectators' enjoyment.

Notably, the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours race was partially run on the same date as Azerbaijan Grand Prix last year, with drivers and fans alike puzzled by the overlap.

This led Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to ask, "How did Toyota finish?" in the post-race press conference to learn the result of a dramatic Le Mans race in which Toyota lost power on the final lap as Porsche took victory.

The 2017 drivers' championship leader then reacted with an expletive and an apology.

World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu claimed the scheduling was a "a clear attack on us and on this race," when it was announced in 2015.

This year, Le Mans (June 17-18) will not clash with the race at Baku (June 25), but the FIA wants to do more.

F1's Managing Director of Motorsport, Ross Brawn; WEC CEO Neveu; and Formula E Holdings CEO Alejandro Agag are working with the FIA President Jean Todt in Monaco to ensure fans can watch each event without fear of missing out.

Earlier this year, Brawn met with MotoGP executives to avoid clashes which he said were "not smart" to Reuters.

MotoGP and F1 clash eight times this year including the final round of the motorbike championship at Valencia and the Brazilian Grand Prix on November 12.

"We’re not too proud to consult with other championships and work out the best way forward," said Brawn.

The double-header Formula E finale in Montreal clashes with the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 29-30 and three WEC events - in Germany, Mexico and the USA - clash with F1 dates in Britain, Italy and Singapore.

Avoiding overlaps would protect television viewership figures and open up more possibilities for F1 drivers to enter Le Mans such as current Renault F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg, who won the endurance race in 2015.

“In close collaboration with its promoters, the FIA has in recent years worked hard to build and consolidate a wide variety of championships that provide great entertainment for motor sport fans,” said Todt.

“As such, it is important that everyone involved in our championships works towards ensuring that fans have every opportunity to enjoy our championships to the full.

“Today, in collaboration with our partners, we have begun the process of harmonising our sporting calendars and I look forward to continuing this effort as we define our championship schedules for next season and beyond.”

Are you affected by the constant calendar clashes? Have your say in the comment section below or on Facebook.
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