Nico Hulkenbergâ€™s Impressive Endorsement Of F1
The Formula One vs. Le Mans debate was always one-sided. But after years of battling unofficially for supremacy, I wonder if Formula One reacted to their insecurity of being replaced as the pinnacle of motorsport and forced the FIA to act on their behalf. (Read: F1 Teams, TV Blackouts And Bernie Ecclestone)
The latest version of the 2016 Formula 1 calendar released by the FIA indicates a clash in dates between the all-important Grand Prix of Azerbaijan (or the European Grand Prix!) and a 24 hours endurance race that will be held near a town called Le Mans in France. (Read: Is MotoGP Better Than F1?)
Gerard Neveu, the head of the World Endurance Championship, believes that this was done on purpose to stop Formula 1 drivers from participating in the worldâ€™s oldest endurance racing event and that the FIA shouldâ€™ve acted better to protect the interests of both â€“ the racing series and the fans. (Read: F1 Puts Fans First)
But the FIA isnâ€™t Ecclestoneâ€™s only ally. He also found support in (or forcedâ€¦?) Nico Hulkenberg, the 2015 Le Mans Champion, who publically admitted that his preference would be to race in Formula 1 even if it meant that he wouldnâ€™t be able to defend his title in 2016! (Read: The Truth About Overtaking)
Was this statement Hulkenbergâ€™s best move in Formula 1 yet? Not only did he possibly impress Ecclestone, but by choosing Formula 1 over Le Mans he did somewhat claim which series is superior. And given that he is the current Le Mans champion, his endorsement matters. (Read: Fernando Alonso, The Unluckiest Double World Champion?)
But I wonder if this is this a wise career decision. His only option to win a race at the moment is outside of Formula 1 and Le Mans is possibly his best bet. But I guess this sort of a publicÂ endorsement and loyalty is what Ecclestone was looking for.