Honda F1 website

DECEMBER 31, 2003

Deadline will be imposed on French GP

Despite stories to the contrary, it is expected that the deadline imposed by the FIA for the French GP is not going to be extended, although the Formula 1 teams will meet on January 14 and it is possible that the race will be one of the items on the agenda at that meeting. The teams have said since the summer that they will only compete in an 18th race if they are each paid $2m, as an extra race is not included in the Concorde Agreement and thus must be treated separately. France says that it has a commercial agreement in place with Formula One Administration but this is worthless unless the teams agree to race and if there is no financial incentive there is little reason for the teams to spend money. It does not help matters that tobacco advertising is banned in France and so the sponsors of the big teams have nothing to gain from taking part. It should be added that last summer the F1 team managers voted on what was there least favourite race in Europe - and France was picked.