Max Mosley says the FIA would be willing to help keep the British Grand Prix on the Formula One calendar if the national governing body the MSA approached it in the event of problems with Donington Park's rebuild.
The British GP will move from Silverstone to Donington from 2010 on a long-term deal. The Leicestershire track is currently beginning a multi-million pound revamp to bring it up to modern F1 standards, and while the circuit owners are extremely confident that this will be completed on time, Bernie Ecclestone has previously suggested that if Donington should hit problems, Britain will lose its GP rather than Silverstone reclaiming the race.
But at a media lunch attended by autosport.com this week, Mosley said the British GP was one of the traditional races that the FIA felt duty-bound to safeguard if the national body needed assistance.
"We have a rule that in a world championship there must be at least three continents, but we don't say how many or in which continents," Mosley explained.
"And we have an arrangement with Bernie whereby we won't have a calendar that eliminates the traditional events without our agreement, and the traditional events... there is some argument about it.
"The traditional were the six that were in the championship in 1950 and have been there ever since: Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Monaco and Belgium. But so far, there has never been an ASN coming to us saying we have got a problem, so if they do then we will have to look at it."
He confirmed that he would be willing to help the MSA in this manner if the British GP came under threat.
"We would have to look at it, absolutely," said Mosley. "What we would do would depend on all the circumstances of the case, as the lawyers would say.
"The thing is that our deal with Bernie says he cannot cancel one of those races without our agreement, which must not be unreasonably withheld. Clearly if someone said to Bernie 'I am a traditional race I am going to give you 100 dollars' and we will say, 'you can't do that'.
"But equally if they were paying the going rate and he wanted to chop them to go somewhere for 100 million dollars we would say you cannot do that... It depends what the going rate was and we would ask Bernie for his comments."
This year the calendar is already lacking one of the designated 'traditional' races due to the absence of the French GP, which is set to return in the future once a new venue is secured. Mosley said the decision to drop France had ultimately been down to its national authority the FFSA.
"We've had no complaint from the ASN, they haven't come to us and said 'we cannot agree with Bernie and you have to do something,'" he said.
"The absence of the French GP in 2009 was done with the accord of the national sporting authority, so it is not up to us."
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