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Silverstone earns reprieve as British Grand Prix moves back to July

The World Motor Sport Council on Wednesday night announced that the British Grand Prix will be included in the 2001 calendar, but the event has been moved from its provisional date of May 13 to July 15.

Silverstone was warned by the Federation International de l'Automobile's (FIA) World Motor Sport Council that it faced exclusion from the 2001 calendar if it could not satisfy the sport's governing body that there would not be a repeat of the scenes of the 2000 event in April.

At a World Motor Sport Council meeting in Seville on Wednesday Silverstone earned a reprieve after they produced detailed proposals and undertakings that convinced the Council they could prevent the debacle in April.

Thousands of spectators were stranded in muddy car-parks and were forced to wait in lengthy traffic jams around the Northamptonshire circuit after heavy rain marred the event.

The British Grand Prix will now return to its traditional July date after swapping places with the Austrian Grand Prix, which will now take place on May 13 at the A1-Ring in Spielberg.

The 2001 British Grand Prix will be the last at Silverstone after Brands Hatch bought the rights to host the event from 2002.

The future of the event is, however, in doubt as Brands Hatch is awaiting a public inquiry into a 30 million (pounds) development plan to get the Kent circuit up to current Formula One standards.

The FIA also announced on Wednesday that testing in Formula One next season will be different.

No testing will be permitted on the Monday following a race on a circuit where a Grand Prix has been held. There will also be a three-week gap between the Hungarian and Belgian races during the month of August and no testing will be permitted in this time.

There will also be no testing at Silverstone, Magny-Cours (France), Monza (Italy) and Barcelona (Spain) for 28 days prior to the respective events. All testing is already prohibited at other Grand Prix circuits.

The FIA also confirmed that they will be forced to comply with a worldwide ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship after the 2006 season.

A statement read: "On entry into force of the World Health Organisation proposed Framework Convention on Tobacco control, the FIA will introduce a worldwide ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship in international motor sport from the end of the 2006 season as originally envisaged by the Directive of the European Union Member States."

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