JANUARY 16, 2004
Today is the day for the French GP
The fate of the French Grand Prix will be decided today at a meeting of team principals in London and although there are a few attempts going on to keep optimistic, all the signs are that the race will be cancelled. The French have signed a deal with Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One group but the race is dependent on the agreement of the 10 Formula 1 teams and they have already said that they will not compete in an 18th race unless they are each paid $2m. The French have said that they have no plan to pay any extra money. The teams do not legally have to compete in France as it is not covered by the Concorde Agreement, which stipulates a maximum of 17 races. The only ways therefore that the race is going to go ahead is if all the team principals agree to race for no extra money; if Ecclestone is willing to pay them himself or if France comes up with another $20m. There is a vague possibility that a new Concorde Agreement will include more races but that is not going to be negotiated in one day. It will take months for that to happen, even if everyone agrees to adopt a new contract for the long-term.
It is expected that the team bosses will also confirm that they are not going to change the rules about third drivers.
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TODAY IS THE DAY FOR THE FRENCH GP