Nico Hulkenberg has expressed his frustration at the likelihood of being prevented from defending his Le Mans 24 Hours title after a change in the 2016 Formula 1 calendar prompted a date clash with the Grand Prix of Europe.
Hulkenberg dovetailed his Force India F1 duties alongside an appearance in the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours for Porsche this year, the German going on to claim a famous win alongside Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber.
Having re-signed with Force India over the summer, Hulkenberg had indicated a desire to return to Le Mans in 2016 with Porsche, with a deal believed to have already been agreed with the manufacturer.
However, revisions to the provisional 2016 Formula 1 calendar have seen the inaugural Grand Prix of Europe in Azerbaijan moved to June 19th, leading to a clash with next year's endurance classic.
With Hulkenberg confirming he won't consider skipping an F1 event in favour of racing at Le Mans, he is nonetheless disappointed at having his chance to race again scuppered.
“For sure it would have been nice to go there again,” he said. “Having said that it would have been a very busy year with 21 races, plus testing – it is also a big challenge. I was thinking as well, 'is it still possible?' [However], it is good to do both and I think I would have done it again.
Ruling out the prospect of raising a grievance with the FIA, though Hulkenberg says Porsche may hold out for a while longer before the schedule is formally confirmed, he admits the manufacturer will need to confirm its plans too.
“There will obviously be a certain cut-off point. The calendar is there now and is out. But we know often it is out and it still gets changed a little bit afterwards. There will be a cut-off point for them as well when they have to confirm their drivers, but I think there is still some time.
“I think it is not enough to have a word with someone. There are obviously other interests and reasons to do it for the FIA and the promoter. I think even if you speak to them, it is probably not much interest for them.”