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FEBRUARY 10, 2001

Mosley hints at Beirut GP introduction

MAX MOSLEY, the president of Formula One's governing body the FIA, has hinted that Beirut could host a Grand Prix in the future.

Beirut has been touted as a potential host of a Grand Prix after Mosley and Formula One ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone suggested last year that more races will be held outside of Europe.

Saudi Arabia, China and Dubai have all been linked with hosting future races, but Beirut is the latest to be brought up.

"I think it would be a good place to have a race," said Mosley. "It is situated so well. It fits in very well into time zones and it is relatively convenient."

Of the 17 races in the current season, 11 are in Europe and Mosley indicated that if more race venues became available some of the current hosts would have to be sacrificed if changes were to be made.

He added: "It is difficult to make the season bigger. We would like to see more races. But the teams say that it is absolutely impossible. They say that the mechanics and everybody working with the teams are just too exhausted.

"Sixteen is really the number and then, as an exception, we run 17 some years, which is what we are doing this year. I think it is going to be very difficult to expand and the only way to get new races in is if old ones drop out."

Several European races have come under threat in recent years. The British Grand Prix was lambasted last year after heavy rain decimated facilities and turned the event into a farce.

The Hungarian Grand Prix is also thought to be in jeopardy as the management of the Hungaroring goes through changes.