Sebring Clash Remains in Ratified Formula E Calendar

by Alice Holloway
Formation Lap at the 2019 1,000 Miles of Sebring, WEC

After the FIA ratified the 2019/20 FIA Formula E calendar, it has been confirmed that one clash remains with the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The 1,000 Miles of Sebring, which falls on the 20th March next year, was the one clash date with Formula E’s season six that WEC could not move as it shares the weekend with the 12 Hours of Sebring (part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship). When the initial Formula E calendar was announced with its three clashes, WEC openly tried to make the situation easier for the electric series, moving the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps back a week to avoid the clash with the new Seoul E-Prix, that Formula E claimed they could not move. This left it up to Formula E to clear the other two clashes.

In the recent ratified Formula E calendar for season six, the 8 Hours of Bahrain clash has been removed, with Formula E opting for only one race in the 2019 part of the championship. However, the Sebring clash remains. Time difference between Seoul and Sebring will make it impossible for competitors to take part in both Formula E and WEC.

This means that, along with the provisional FIA Formula 1 2020 calendar, there is a four-way clash on the weekend of the 21st March. With the increasing number of Formula E and Formula 1 races, this is a reality that will come to fruition and begin restricting drivers in cross-competing in multiple series.

For WEC competitors, this clash will effect Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Nyck de Vries, Antonio Felix da Costa, and James Calado. Hartley and Calado will most likely skip the Formula E round, with Toyota Gazoo Racing confirming earlier this year that Hartley’s priorities are to them, whilst it is more certain that de Vries and da Costa will miss the Sebring round and be in Seoul.

Buemi has always been a grey area, with Toyota giving him free rein to decide which series he will prioritise. If he does choose to race in Formula E that weekend, Toyota’s reserve driver Thomas Laurent will be drafted in. Buemi will probably make his decision pending on his championship position in both series.

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