F1 Clashes with Le Mans in 2016

Is it wrong for the FIA to schedule a Grand Prix on the same weekend as the Le Mans 24 hours?

  • Yes

    Votes: 271 87.1%
  • No

    Votes: 40 12.9%

  • Total voters


Apr 1, 2011
The FIA have released a raft of changes for the next Formula One season including a revised calendar, more stringent officiating of track limits and new exhaust regulations to make the cars louder.

Track Limits
In a bid to stop drivers from gaining advantages from running wide on the exit of corners, or cutting the apex with all four wheels outside the white lines, the FIA have revised the guidelines with regards to track limits.

The revision reads:
"Sporting Regulations regarding track limits have been clarified and specify that drivers must make every reasonable effort to use the track at all times and may not deliberately leave the track without a justifiable reason... Penalties will still be allocated based on whether a driver is judged to have gained an advantage."
Last month we ran an article asking you, the readers, whether you felt that the FIA needed to take meaningful action on track limit abuse in the aftermath of the Belgian Grand Prix where many drivers were seen to be illegally leaving the track with no consequences from the stewards, despite stating that they would be cracking down on abuse of track limits, especially at Raidillon. A resounding 80% of readers felt that the stewards needed to pursue track limit abuse more vociferously. Hopefully this new rule clarification will result in better behaviour from the drivers and more consistent officiating from Charlie Whiting and Co.

21 Races in 2016

The 2016 Formula One season was originally due to start in April, however that has now be brought forward to the third week of March with the Australian Grand Prix playing host for the opening round. The Malaysian Grand Prix has been moved to Round 16 following the Singapore Grand Prix in a move that should result in a more logical, efficient and cost effective shipment path for teams' equipment and personnel.

The Russian Grand Prix has been brought forward to Round Four, while the new European Grand Prix in Azerbaijan takes place in mid-June after the Canadian Grand Prix. However, somewhat controversially, the new addition to the calendar has been placed on the same weekend as the Le Mans 24 Hours, meaning Nico Hulkenberg will be unable to defend his race win from last years epic race.


Louder Cars
The changes focus around the tailpipes and the exhaust wastegates in order to produce more noise.

States the FIA:
"For 2016, all cars must have a separate exhaust wastegate tailpipe through which all and only wastegate exhaust gases must pass. This measure has been undertaken to increase the noise of the cars and will not have any significant effect on power or emissions."

Are you in favour of the direction that Formula One is heading? Leave your responses below, and be sure to stick and stay with RaceDepartment.com for future developments.
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Matt Orr

Jun 3, 2013
They are thinking F1 is going down the crapper and it's time to turtle it up, that is what they are thinking.

With WEC becoming more appealing while F1 is becoming less appealing it's once again for the unwritten F1 protection rules to subtly kick in to try and ensure as best as possible F1 remains supreme in every regard, that is what it is.

If they actually cared about it, they'd get the event moved. If they actually were "sorry" for the conflicting nature I doubt they would have put a race in freakin' Azerbaijan in that same slot. No break week between Canada and Azerbaijan, yet a break between Azerbaijan and Austria?

It just reeks of a sacrificial race scheduled to intentionally and purposefully cause problems.
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Apr 1, 2011
Hoping it's all just a ploy by Bernie to devalue the F1 brand and then buy majority ownership off CVC to reclaim control and restore it to its former glory.

Well, I do think the regulations are heading in the right direction for next year and especially 2017, and it's a well known fact that Bernie is trying to devalue F1 so that he can reclaim majority ownership, but it's all coming at a pretty high price. Teams folding, other on the brink, generally boring racing filled with DRS bastardry and historic tracks synonymous with F1 are being threatened with the axe while tracks in the middle on nowhere with zero F1 following are getting races just because they can cough up high amounts of oil-money.


#1 overuser of the :P emoticon
Oct 26, 2010
They may be on the same weekend, but I think this is a move the forces the Baku race into a night race. If it is, the GP would start after the end of Le Mans. Considering this would also mean that the race happens in primetime Sunday night viewing for most of continental Europe with increased TV ratings on offer, it all lines up perfectly for FOM.


Czarleeese Baygio
Mar 18, 2007
Well... too bad I won't get to see the Baku track this year :geek:


I drove 88 MPH last night... weird stuff happened
Dec 21, 2014
What were they thinking?

You can't do the GP in the same weekend as WEC!

Crazy FIA !


Apr 1, 2011
From a viewers perspective it's totally fine because there'll be a GP on right after the finish of Le Mans, but for drivers like Hulkenberg it's bad because it means he can't be there.

Radu Oros

Jul 25, 2014
Nico Hulkenberg can choose where to race or is he tied more to F1 due to contracts having priority over WEC?
Sep 16, 2015
I hope this backfires on the FIA. The WEC is a much better standard of racing and has been for a couple years now. If this is how they aim to make F1 great again, it's a seriously pathetic approach.


Oct 20, 2010
From a viewers perspective it's totally fine because there'll be a GP on right after the finish of Le Mans, but for drivers like Hulkenberg it's bad because it means he can't be there.
Yeah that's the only bad thing about it really.

I hope Hulkenburg takes this 1 F1 race off though to do Le Mans and let Force India use a reserve driver, i.e. Magnussen/Vandoorne/Palmer/someone excellent who won't be racing fulltime in F1 then.


Nov 10, 2012
I have a great idea. Let's take a sport this dude Bernie shot to #2 in the world and regulate the crap out of it, inject a bunch of politically correct technical regulations that strip the cars of their unique sound and speed, inset meaningless rule changes that depend of what Charlie Whiting had for breakfast when it comes time to enforce them, and transform dedicated drivers in to expensive robots instead of who they wanted to be. Will we ever get to the point where the cars can just drive themselves? We aren't that far off. An to think...electric cars that *are* equal = a better test of driver skill playing to sold out audiences with ownership that really is diverse and, arguably, a grid that is more talented. I guess it's not the economy, eh?


track limits? :rolleyes:...what? slot cars? wait...they are! those designer tracks raced at 5-10 seconds slower are damn exciting baby! So...you build in runoff the size of Denmark on tracks that literally have no discernible boundaries at 120mph (thanks Herman!), then penalize the drivers for using it. Brilliant. That's right...we need to slow these guys down so maybe they will hit another car instead of running wide when trying to squeeze out that extra tenth at Bahrain. Idiots.

Does anyone wonder why F1 is dying a slow death? Hope you are right Chris, because Bernie is about the only guy who can save the sport, barring a team/fan revolt. And if the NFL is any indication, it's not going to be the fans All it's going to take is a handful of brave manufacturers with expensive toys to take this sickly golden goose away permanently and end the bureaucratic suffocation. Yes, F1 should be expensive, but not needlessly so. How much money and bad press could you have saved if you had a time machine and could stop the inane engine regulations from kicking in in 2014? Hint: It's not going to be Ferrari starting the revolt.

Having been through the same thing in my lifetime with IndyCar, you will end up with a much less expensive or well attended version of F1 times two, until one or both gives in because they are bankrupt, thus ruining the sport for years.


Nov 10, 2012
From a viewers perspective it's totally fine because there'll be a GP on right after the finish of Le Mans, but for drivers like Hulkenberg it's bad because it means he can't be there.
Not really discussed in Europe (I don't think) but big news over here was F1 having the *nerve* (lol) to go up against NASCAR directly, on the same day, in the same state, running just down the road. F1 has a long and glorious history of demanding all the attention in the room. Have for decades....
Feb 4, 2012
He is contractually obligated to race in F1.
What is the source for that? Would be a great way for FI to get a youngster in the car for the weekend or sell the seat for lots of cash.

I mean a possible points score in F1 vs the chance to win LeMans back to back that is usually not a hard decision to make.

/edit: By the way Hulkenberg is sponsored by a private jet company since a few month. If he would be able to make both races on that weekend, that would be a priceless PR coup for them.
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Nice apex, I'll take it!
May 2, 2010
@Robert Waddell, clamping down on track limits is the best thing they've announced there. If you've stayed on the track and someone has cheated entering the straight and overtaken you because they've cheated, then it's unfair.