French GP stays at Magny-Cours

THE French Grand Prix is to stay at Magny-Cours until after the 1999 event. The French national sporting authority announced in February that the event would be moved to Paul Ricard in 1997. That decision was torpedoed when Magny-Cours announced that it already had a deal to hold the race with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

The FFSA committee met last week in Paris for an extraordinary session to discuss the matter and decided that there would be no choice but to accept the status quo. FFSA president Jean-Marie Balestre will, however, be campaigning for a European GP at Ricard in 1997 and 1998. These are unlikely to happen because of the arrival of several new F1 races on the calendar: notably in America and in China. The teams refuse to do more than 16 events, which means that the countries which have more than one event: France (French GP and Monaco), Italy (San Marino GP and Italian GP) and Germany (German GP and European GP) are likely to lose out.

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