French GP absent for a year

French GP absent for a year

It appears the French Grand Prix at Magny Cours will only be absent from the Formula One calendar for a year if it fails to be included next season. Marcel Charmant, president of the Nievre regional authority, announced on Friday that the race...

It appears the French Grand Prix at Magny Cours will only be absent from the Formula One calendar for a year if it fails to be included next season. Marcel Charmant, president of the Nievre regional authority, announced on Friday that the race would not go ahead in 2004 due to financial problems. However, circuit boss Roland Hodel said a contract is in place for 2005.

Fans at Magny-Cours.
Photo by LAT Photographic.
"We're having a break in 2004, in agreement with Bernie Ecclestone, and we have signed a contract from 2005 to 2009, with the possibility of adding another five years," explained Hodel.

"In 2004 everyone who loves motor sport has to launch into action to bring in all the partnerships which are necessary for us to have Formula One back again."

Although the local authorities have declared the 2004 race cancelled, French sports minister Jean-Francois Lamour said a final decision has yet to be taken and he intends to appeal to the FIA to keep the race on next year's calendar.

Reports have suggested the race organizers owe Formula One Management somewhere in the region of ?6 million. According to some French news reports, the Nievre region is being asked for approximately ?2.5 million by next month to cover the 2003 deficit.

It remains to be seen if the FIA will schedule the GP at a different French circuit in 2004 if Magny Cours fails to keep its place, if indeed there is a circuit up to standard.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone