Hartley will Prioritise WEC if Formula E Clashes Remain

by Alice Holloway
Toyota Gazoo Racing car #8 line-up (left to right: Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Brendon Hartley)

After announcing he will join GEOX Dragon for the 2019/20 FIA Formula-E Season, it has been confirmed that if the Formula-E / FIA World Endurance Championship clashes remain, Brendon Hartley will prioritise racing in the endurance championship with Toyota Gazoo Racing.

Since Formula-E announced their 2019/20 calendar, which includes three clashes with WEC races, it has been a discussion point as to whether drivers will still take part in both series. Any driver missing races in either series will be out of contention for the respective championship battle.

WEC made the first move in resolving the issue, moving the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps back a week to avoid clashing with the Seoul E-Prix in May next year. However, they have made it clear that they will not move either of the other two races that currently clash with Formula-E events, with the date of the 1,000 Miles of Sebring determined by IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and out of their hands.

The two remaining clashes are Formula-E races that have yet to have locations confirmed. It will remain with Formula-E to resolve these clashes.

Teams and drivers have weighed up their options on this matter, with teams like AF Corse stating that missing more than one race is too many for a full-time driver, and it would be part of their consideration for who they put in their cars for next season. Sam Bird‘s future with the works Ferrari team has been a point of conversation since the electric series announced their calendar dates.

However, for some drivers, the situation is more cut and dry. Hartley has signed with Dragon for the next season of Formula-E, but Toyota has already stated that his priority is with them, and if the clashes remain he will be missing the electric races for the endurance sports car ones.

A spokesperson for Toyota Gazoo Racing told e-racing365: “In the event of a clash between WEC and Formula E races, Brendon will give priority to his WEC commitments.”

As ‘Clashgate’ continues between these two series, it remains to be seen what other drivers will do or be told to do by their teams. With seats and races remaining to be confirmed, no one seems to want to make a statement about priorities.

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