Jean Todt

Todt: We’re hoping to avoid F1-Le Mans clash next year

Jean Todt

Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, will do what it can to avoid a calendar clash in 2021 between the 24 Hours of Le Mans and a grand prix, president Jean Todt told reporters at the 88th edition of the event.

This year’s F1 calendar had listed the Canadian Grand Prix on the same June weekend as Le Mans before the COVID-19 pandemic tore up the schedules, with the Montreal race ultimately cancelled.

Le Mans will be the highlight of a reduced six-round World Endurance Championship (WEC) season in 2021 with the race scheduled for June 12-13 on a provisional calendar published last Friday.

“Clearly, we will do as much as we can to avoid a clash between WEC and Formula One,” Todt said in a Zoom news conference.

“But of course it can also depend where Formula 1 will be located because the time zone has some importance. So we will do the best effort but that’s the maximum I can tell you.”

F1 has yet to publish a draft 2021 calendar but is hoping to have a more familiar list of races after a condensed and reduced 2020 season.

“We’re certainly planning on a 2021 that may not be completely business back to normal, but it’s pretty close,” chairman Chase Carey told Sky Sports television last month.

This year was supposed to have a record 22 rounds but now has only 17, the majority of them in Europe, with some new circuits brought in to replace those whose grands prix had to be cancelled.

Formula One drivers have competed at Le Mans and grands prix in the same season, Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg winning in 2015 and Fernando Alonso in 2018 while with Force India and McLaren respectively.

Hulkenberg was unable to defend his title in 2016 as the race clashed with the inaugural grand prix in Azerbaijan.