French Grand Prix - compromise coming

NOVEMBER 10, 1997

French Grand Prix - compromise coming

FIA President Max Mosley and the French Minister of Sport Marie-George Buffet met last week to discuss the problems over the French Grand Prix. After the meeting the two parties made all the right noises suggesting that the problems over television coverage will be overcome and the race will be able to go ahead.

There have been problems with the French GP for some years as the law about media access to events can be interpreted differently. A series of French courts have ruled both for and against the television station FR3 which has argued that it should be allowed access to the event despite an FIA exclusive TV deal with rival station TF1.

The French have now come up with a clarification of the law which is currently being circulated in government circles to ensure that the law becomes clear - and, presumably, stops FR3 from forcing its way into the French GP each year.

Buffet says she hopes that everything will be settled by the time the FIA World Council meets in Monaco on December 11 so that the French race can takes it place in the 1998 F1 calendar.

The clarification is also needed to ensure that similar problems do not occur when the World Cup soccer competition takes place in France next summer.

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PAUL RICARD