DECEMBER 1, 2003
Which is the 18th race?
If rumors of the French Grand Prix being saved are confirmed there is likely to be some confusion as to which is the 18th race. This is highly important because the Concorde Agreement only allows for 17 races and the organizers of the 18th must find an extra $20m to pay the 10 Formula 1 teams $2m apiece to race. Originally the 18th race was Canada and the organizers struggled to find the cash needed but when it became clear that there was a problem with France the Canadians moved quickly and a deal was reportedly signed. If this is the case, the French GP could be in big trouble because the promoters of the event will need to raise the extra $18m for host the event - and that is likely to be impossible as the French motor sport federation had trouble enough finding money to pay the normal fees for a race.
The only hope is that the problems in Brazil could lead to the Brazilians being dropped from the calendar but this is not thought to be very likely and so the French GP could still be cancelled, leaving the July 11 date open for the British Grand Prix.
All will be revealed when the FIA World Council meets on December 12 in Monte Carlo.
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