French GP officially confirmed

French GP officially confirmed

The French Grand Prix was officially given the go-ahead at a meeting of the FIA and team bosses in London on January 16th, ending the uncertainty surrounding the event. French authorities had originally withdrawn the race from the 2004 calendar...

The French Grand Prix was officially given the go-ahead at a meeting of the FIA and team bosses in London on January 16th, ending the uncertainty surrounding the event.

French authorities had originally withdrawn the race from the 2004 calendar due to lack of finances and since then it had been an ongoing struggle to reinstate it. If the GP had been axed, it would have been the first time in almost 50 years that a French GP was not on the calendar.

Fans at Magny-Cours.
Photo by LAT Photographic.
The FIA's conditions of reinstatement were an agreement being reached by the race organisers and Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management, and also the agreement of all the teams that the Magny-Cours race should be included. It will now go ahead as planned on July 4th.

"The inclusion of the French Grand Prix in the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship was confirmed today, following a meeting of FIA President, Max Mosley, Formula One Management President, Bernie Ecclestone, and the Formula One Team Principals," said a statement issued by the FIA.

"It was very close," said FIA president Max Mosley in regard to the France decision, according to Reuters. "There were certain detailed arrangements that they had to follow with Bernie and it wasn't completely in place until a day or so ago."

"We did give them perhaps longer than we should have done but the FIA was very reluctant to see the French Grand Prix come off the calendar if it could be avoided."

This means that the 2004 schedule will have 18 races: the teams are obliged to attend 17 races by the Concorde Agreement and agreeing to 18 was dependent on a suitable financial package of compensation being offered. "They (the teams) are getting the 18 race financial deal," said Mosley. "It's really down to Bernie. He gets money from all sorts of people."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone