Monaco and Montreal face the music

THE Grand Prix organisers of Monaco and Montreal are going to be in trouble this week with the FIA World Council meeting to consider what to do about the Monte Carlo course car accident and the Canadian track invasion.

The Monaco incident - in which a course car being driven by rally star Jean Ragnotti and carrying an FIA official hit the Footwork of Taka Inoue as it was being towed back to the pits - was worrying, and the Automobile Club of Monaco can expect some form of censure. The FIA International Sporting Code details a scale of sanctions possible, ranging from a reprimand to an expulsion of the club from the FIA. In all probability, the ACM will be fined up to a maximum of $50,000 and be ordered to pay for the damage caused to the Footwork.

The Canadian track invasion is a more difficult problem as the club in question - ASN Canada FIA Inc. - is actually run by the FIA so if it is fined it will be paying itself! We expect that the club will be told that it cannot have a race in 1996 until fencing, to stop spectators invading the track, has been built.

The Council will also be considering whether or not there will be an Italian Grand Prix in September this year (see below) and voting on a new 107% rule for F1 qualifying, which will be introduced next year to ensure that extremely slow cars are not allowed to race.

The FIA will not be issuing a F1 calendar for 1996 until October at the earliest but will, no doubt, be keeping a close eye on developments in Brazil following the announcement of the 1996 CART Indycar dates. The calendar includes a race in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to be called the Nelson Piquet International. The theory is that the Brazilians will build a 1.3-mile oval circuit at the Autodromo Nelson Piquet - using parts of the old F1 track. If the oval is not built, however, CART is not allowed to race on any new road circuits outside North America. This was part of an agreement made with the FIA in October, 1992, which established that Indycars could race worldwide on ovals but not on road courses.

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