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APRIL 14, 2005

Ecclestones pays tribute to Prince Rainier

Bernie Ecclestone has told Agence France Presse that the late Prince Rainier of Monaco was "a loyal supporter of Formula 1".

Ecclestone said that Rainier had supported the sport in Monaco for many years.

"He did everything that he could and notably supported all the safety changes to the circuit."

Ecclestone said that he feel sure that Prince Albert II, Rainier's successor will follow in his father's footsteps.

The Monaco Grand Prix has been on the international calendar since 1929 and held the second race when the FIA launched the Formula 1 World Championship in 1950. The sport has gained a great deal from its association with glamorous Monaco, and the principality has gained much from its association with F1.

The funeral of Prince Rainier takes place in Monaco tomorrow (Friday). The government of Monaco has declared a three-month period of mourning but this will not affect the Grand Prix next month.