ACO confident FIA will prevent F1/Le Mans clash in 2017

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SPA – The president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) that organizes the 24 Hours of Le Mans is confident that the FIA will find a solution to prevent the race from clashing with a Formula 1 event in 2017.

Efforts have been made in recent years to avoid putting Le Mans and a grand prix on the same weekend, allowing F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg to win the iconic event last year with Porsche.

However, the German is unable to defend his title in 2016 after the European Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan was scheduled for the same weekend as Le Mans.

FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu believes that the move may have been deliberate, while Hulkenberg was disappointed that he could not return to Le Mans and try to defend his crown.

When asked by NBC Sports about the clash, ACO president Pierre Fillon said that the clash will not detract from Le Mans as an event, but is nevertheless disappointing for fans and drivers.

“Yes, it’s a shame, but it’s not a shame for Le Mans,” Fillon said.

“It’s a shame for fans, it’s a shame for Formula 1 drivers. 20 years ago, 30 years ago, drivers were able to compete in Formula 1 and sportscars. It was very good for motorsport.

“This clash is a shame, but no problem with Le Mans. We’ll have a good race, a lot of spectators.”

When asked if the FIA should do more to prevent this clash in the future, Fillon said: “Yes. For sure.

“I’m sure next year, they will find a solution to avoid this clash.”

The 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place from June 18-19, finishing just as the F1 race in Azerbaijan begins.