British GP gets provisional nod

The British Grand Prix has been given a provisional slot on next year's Formula 1 calendar following a meeting of the FIA World Council in Paris on Wednesday. It will take place on July 3, 2005, providing a promotional contract can be agreed

British GP gets provisional nod

Following intense speculation about the fate of the race, the FIA has handed the race another lifeline - although it is likely that the details of any deal must be finalised before the next meeting of the World Council on December 10.

The 2005 calendar features 19 races - with Britain, San Marino and France all subject to contractual conditions.

The inclusion of these races will depend not only on agreement being reached between the race organisers and Ecclestone, but also between Ecclestone and the teams about the number of races on the calendar.

According to the Concorde Agreement, the document by which F1 is run, there is a current limit of 16 races on the calendar. Going beyond that threshold is dependent on financial compensation being given to the teams for taking part in the extra races - something that has in the past had to be paid by the organisers of the extra events themselves rather than Ecclestone.

That could leave San Marino and France as bigger question marks than the British Grand Prix, because of the extra costs for each team to compete in Europe rather than just down the road from their factories at Silverstone.

As autosport.com exclusively predicted last month, the date of the United States Grand Prix has been moved from its provisional June 12 slot originally set out in a calendar distributed to the teams. It was unable to have a race on that date because it needs three weeks from next year's Indy 500 event, which takes place on May 29, to get the track turned around into its Formula 1 configuration.

It will almost certainly takes the June 19 date, although if the British Grand Prix does get dropped then there may be a desire to have two weeks between Canada and Indy so there is not a four week gap in the middle of the summer.

The overall format of the calendar is quite similar to this year, although the French Grand Prix is down as the first European round - subject to its contractual position. Belgium has also been moved from its traditional end of August date to early September, after the Italian Grand Prix.

China has also won its fight to become the final race of the season, although its date has yet to be confirmed. The Shanghai organisers will be hoping that the championship now goes all the way to the wire so that interest in the event will be higher than this season, with both the drivers' and constructors' championships having already been wrapped up by the inaugural September race.

It is possible that Japan and China could be put back-to-back, to lessen the costs for teams at the end of the season.


Australia, Melbourne
Malaysia, Sepang
Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit
France, Magny-Cours*
San Marino, Imola**
Spain, Catalunya
Monaco, Monte Carlo
Europe, Nurburgring
Canada, Montreal
United States, Indianapolis
Great Britain, Silverstone
Germany, Hockenheim
Hungary, Hungaroring
Turkey, Istanbul
Italy, Monza
Belgium, Spa-Francorchamps
Brazil, Interlagos
Japan, Suzuka
China, Shanghai International Circuit

*contract under discussion
**subject to compliance with contract

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