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British GP organizers move to pre-empt FIA criticism

THE Motor Sports Association, Britain's national sanctioning authority, is to initiate its own investigation into the traffic flow problems experienced at the British Grand Prix in a bid to head off excessive criticism of the race which many expect to flow from next month's FIA World Council meeting.

Although most F1 insiders have no doubt that the British GP will be included on the 2002 World Championship calendar, there is bound to be further scrutiny of the management of the race before it is formally given the green light.

"We suggested to the FIA president Max Mosley that it might be helpful for the MSA, as the local governing body, to enter into an inquiry to determine the real traffic situation," said Colin Hilton, the MSA's Chief Executive.

"We are trying to be helpful and take the initiative locally on behalf of the FIA. We want to clarify the situation, particularly in relation to 1999, because the 2000 problems were down to extraordinary circumstances." The inquiry is being chaired by Graham Stoker, a barrister who is chairman of the MSA's judicial advisory panel.

The FIA officially has no position on the matter at the present time, although coded warnings emerge from the governing body from time to time which seem to reflect FIA president Max Mosley's exasperation with the whole British GP affair. Nevertheless, MSA sources have dismissed speculation that the race might be run as a non-championship event if it was not included in the title contest.

Which it will.