The opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar this year will conflict with the final race of the F1 season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, due to a schedule adjustment.
In an effort to avoid competing with the World Cup, F1 shifted its calendar this season to wrap up at the end of November. The event was originally scheduled to begin the day following the Abu Dhabi race, with Senegal taking vs the Netherlands. But FIFA has rearranged its schedule and shifted the game between Qatar and Ecuador to Sunday, November 20, with the kickoff at 16:00 GMT, in order to adhere to tradition and have the host team play the opening encounter.
The match itself won’t conflict with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which gets underway at 14:00 GMT, but the opening ceremony, which has also been moved up, will.
“The decision followed an assessment of the competition and operational implications, as well as a thorough consultation process and an agreement with key stakeholders and the host country,” said a statement released by FIFA, as GPfans quotes.
There are many fans who watch both the sports, but there are chances that the viewership of F1 would be negatively affected as the FIFA World Cup takes place only once every 4 years.
The 2021 Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix
Last year, the final race of the Formula 1 season turned out to be one of the most controversial races in the history of the sport. From the start it was supposed to be a historical race as both Hamilton and Verstappen were equal on points. After leading the race for most of the time, Hamilton was overtaken by Verstappen in the final lap due to a controversial ending of the safety car. Max won his first ever world championship and Hamilton finished behind him.
This year as well, Max is leading the Championship but with a great margin and if he manages to win the Championship before the final race, there could be less number of people watching Formula 1 and more watching the FIFA World Cup.