Honda F1 website

DECEMBER 10, 2003

French face up to Grand Prix crisis

The French Grand Prix will be cancelled on Friday when the FIA World Motor Sport Council meets in Monte Carlo, unless the French can find an extra $20m to pay the teams to take part in an 18th race. The French motor sport federation, the FFSA, has been trying to raise the money to pay the necessary fees to take over the race and run the operation itself, taking over from the previous organisers who had their contract cancelled because of debts to Formula One Management in the region of $11m. The problem is that the cancellation of the contract meant that France moved to become the 18th race on a 17-race calendar. The British GP has already announced its intention to move to the July 11 date and the international motorcycling federation is now planning to switch the MotoGP British GP from the July 11 to July 4 to avoid a clash with the F1 race.

The only way in which the FFSA can save the day is to find the $20m which would convince the teams to do an extra event - and there does not seem to be anyone willing to pay that.