French GP scrapped for 2004

24th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 22 (AFP) - French Grand Prix organisers confirmed on Saturday that next year's race has been scrapped, but said they had signed a new five-year deal with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone to keep the event at Magny-Cours from 2005.

PARIS, Nov 22 (AFP) - French Grand Prix organisers confirmed on Saturday that next year's race has been scrapped, but said they had signed a new five-year deal with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone to keep the event at Magny-Cours from 2005.

Circuit boss Roland Hodel described the cancellation of the 2004 race in central France because of financial problems as "simply a break".

"We're having a break in 2004, in agreement with Bernie Ecclestone, and we have signed a contract from 2005 to 2009, with the possibility of adding another five years... the Formula One site, it's Magny-Cours," said Hodel.

"In 2004 everyone who loves motor sport has to launch into action to bring in all the partnerships which are necessary for us to have Formula One back again."

Marcel Charmant, president of the Nievre regional authority announced Friday that the race, scheduled to take place on July 11, 2004, had been cancelled.

"The financial situation of the investment company means that it is not possible to give Bernie Ecclestone the guarantees he requires for the finance of the race in 2004," said Charmant.

The regional authority of Nievre is the majority shareholder in the company which owns the Magny-Cours circuit, where Ralf Schumacher won this year's race. Reports suggested that the circuit authorities still owed USD 10 million to Ecclestone's companies.

The race was included on the 2004 calendar when the World Council last met in October, but was only listed as provisional.

The July 11 date was published "subject to conclusion of a contract."

© AFP

                                                                Subject: French news



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