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F1 news

WEC Prologue pushed back owing to Red Sea shipping delays

The new World Endurance Championship season kicks off on March 2 in Qatar.

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The World Endurance Championship's pre-season test in Qatar has been pushed back by two days owing to shipping delays in the Red Sea.

Originally set for 24-25th February, the Prologue will now take place on February 26th-27th with delays in sea freight arriving in Doha the reason behind the delay.

Shipping from Europe uses the Suez Canal which feeds into the Red Sea, but the crucial route has been disrupted since the start of 2024 owing to the Houthis in Yemen firing missiles.

Both the United States and the United Kingdom have conducted retaliatory strikes as President Biden and Prime Minister Sunak aim to defuse the situation and keep the vital trade route open.

WEC sea freight was delayed by nearly two days in arriving at the Lusail Circuit, with the delay unaffecting the actual season-opening weekend, which takes place on March 2nd - the same as the F1 opener in Bahrain, 150km away.

"The schedule change is a result of the ongoing geopolitical situation where regular shipping lines have experienced significant delays through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea," read a statement.

"Consequently, part of the sea freight has been delayed arriving at the Lusail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar.

"To allow the WEC teams enough time to prepare for testing, the decision was made to delay the start of the Prologue.

"There will be no change to the schedule for the season-opening Qatar 1812km the following weekend, with the race set to begin at 11am local time on Saturday 2 March."

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