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Uncertainty Over Bird’s Ferrari GTE-Pro Future

Ferrari stalling on its 2019-20 WEC driver lineup decision amid Bird uncertainty…

Photo: MPS Agency

Sam Bird’s drive with the factory Ferrari GTE-Pro squad in the FIA World Endurance Championship is currently uncertain, amid a series of date clashes with Formula E.

The Englishman, who has been a full-season member of the Ferrari WEC setup since 2016, is not on the provisional entry list for the 4 Hours of Silverstone race in September.

He will also be absent from the Prologue test at Catalunya next week, with Miguel Molina stepping into the AF Corse-run No. 71 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo in his place.

It’s believed that the three confirmed date clashes between the 2019-20 WEC and ABB FIA Formula E Championship calendars have caused uncertainty over Bird’s GTE-Pro involvement.

Formula E races are set to be held on the weekends of the WEC’s visits to Bahrain in December, Sebring in March and Spa in May, although the electric open-wheel series is known to be working to remove at least two of those conflicts.

Bird has already been confirmed at the Envision Virgin Racing team for his sixth Formula E term, while Ferrari has yet to disclose its full-season GTE-Pro driver lineups.

Rigon, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado are all expected to be retained by the Italian manufacturer next season.

Recent Le Mans class winners Pier Guidi and Calado are set to return in the No. 51 Ferrari, while the driver in Bird’s spot next to Rigon in the No. 71 machine hasn’t been identified yet.

If Molina gets called up for Silverstone, the Spaniard will face a date clash of his own against the Blancpain GT World Challenge America round at Watkins Glen.

A Ferrari spokesperson told Sportscar365: “The crew that will be taking part in the WEC is still to be announced and we have not taken any decision so far. An announcement will be made in the coming weeks.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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