SEPTEMBER 8, 2001
2002 calendar a spoof
THE provisional calendar released earlier this week detailing the order of next year's Formula 1 world championship has been declared a spoof by the FIA. In a statement the sport's governing body declared: "A draft calendar is not yet ready for submission to the Formula 1 Commission, still less to the World Motor Sport Council."
There remains a strong possibility that the British Grand Prix, slotted in for a 7 July race date on the 'bogus' calendar will not appear on the official FIA calendar as an incentive to the organizers to ensure improved traffic flow for next year's event.
The midsummer conflict of dates around the time British Grand Prix is likely to pitch the event against the Wimbledon Grand Slam tennis final, the soccer World Cup and the opening race of the rival Premier 1 Grand Prix series. There is the prospect of a 16-race season being brought in as early as 2002, and although San Marino is the favorite for the drop if that is to happen, Silverstone may yet struggle to justify its place on the calendar.
The widening of the main A43 highway that passes Silverstone to four lanes is on course for completion by 28 June next year, but the 25-year-old plan is to provide a high speed link road between the M1 and M40 motorways and to bypass Silverstone Village for reasons of safety.
If Silverstone Circuit wants a spur road to lead from the refurbished A43 it has been told to pay for it by the local council, and it is principally for this reason that government funding is being sought. Until the new main entrance to Silverstone is built as a part of the $80 million redevelopment paid for by Octagon, the British Racing Drivers' Club and Bernie Ecclestone, and a suitable spur road to it, there is little room for improvement in the access road situation.
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