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Mosley wants Britain, France to stay
October 11, 2004 19:04 IST
Britain can still host a Formula One race next year even if the country is not on the draft calendar to be presented this week, according to world motorsport head Max Mosley.
"My wish is for Silverstone to be on the calendar," British newspapers quoted the International Automobile Federation (FIA) president as saying at the weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.
"It is important to me that our traditional races stay on but that cannot be at any price."
"We can't have Bernie (Ecclestone) run an uneconomic event just to keep with tradition but a compromise should be found because it's part of the basis of motorsport.
"Take that away and you start to undermine the whole structure of Formula One."
The Times newspaper quoted Mosley as saying that even if Silverstone were not on the draft calendar to be presented to the FIA at a meeting in Paris on Wednesday, "it is not the end of the road by any means."
Silverstone hosted the first Formula One Grand Prix in 1950 and Britain, with Italy, are the only countries to have remained on the calendar every year since then.
However the future of the British Grand Prix remains uncertain, with negotiations continuing between various parties over promoting the race.
Silverstone, a former World War Two airfield, is owned by the non-profit-making British Racing Drivers' Club while the commercial rights to promote the race now belong to Formula One supremo Ecclestone.
The BRDC have said they cannot meet Ecclestone's terms without the risk of heavy financial losses.
A little-known group linked to former champion Nigel Mansell has said it has the money to promote the race but has yet to sign a deal with Ecclestone or agree terms with the BRDC.
Ecclestone has also offered to step in, providing the BRDC hand over Silverstone to him rent-free for the next seven years.
"I hope the race will be on but it is between Bernie and Silverstone to find a solution," said Mosley.
"There is no question that, from a sporting point of view, the race should be on. The BRDC have the money to put it on this year and they should do that by any means they can while they try to find a long-term solution.
"If we do away with races like France and Britain, we start to lose an essential element of the sport."
France, a country that can claim to be the birthplace of motor racing and has provided many of the sport's points of reference, nearly lost its Grand Prix at Magny-Cours this year and remains in danger of being struck off.
So too does the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, despite determined support from champions Ferrari. The circuit is named after Ferrari founder Enzo and son Dino and is the closest to Ferrari's Maranello headquarters.
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