JULY 21, 1997
Portugal still in doubt
If they continue to hold out the race would have to be a non-championship event and that means that other teams might lose interest, preferring to let their crews get some rest before the winter rush building new cars for the 1998 regulations. The FIA has already said that it is up to the teams whether the race happens and is not likely to declare it a Championship event to force the teams to go along.
The idea of a non-championship event is a non-starter. Formula 1 has not had such an event since the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in April 1983. This was poorly attended with most teams sending only one car and many of the top drivers being replaced by stand-ins. After that all attempts to run another non-championship event have failed to get off the ground.