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French GP Granted Provisional Slot for 2004

The French Formula One Grand Prix will take place on July 4th next year if two conditions are met before the end of 2003, the FIA said today.

The French Formula One Grand Prix will take place on July 4th next year if two conditions are met before the end of 2003, the FIA said today.

Formula One's ruling body said the French race would take place next season if they receive confirmation that a contract is in place between Formula One Management and the Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile before December 31st.

The FIA also said that all the teams competing in the Championship would have to agree for the race to take place.

Next year's French Grand Prix is in danger because of a seven million euro ($8.3 million) financing "hole", French motorsport federation president Jacques Regis said last month.

The FIA also confirmed that the date for the 2004 British Grand Prix will change to July 11th, the date originally assigned to the French GP.

French authorities announced last month that their Grand Prix, which has only once been absent from the calendar since 1950, would take a break in 2004 due to financial problems but have since been trying to raise the money to save it.

However the odds appeared to remain stacked against the Grand Prix going ahead. Teams are unlikely to agree to what constitutes an extra race unless they are compensated. A total figure of $20 million has been widely mentioned.

Formula One sources said that the confidential Concorde Agreement that covers the commercial side of the sport stipulates that an 18th race can only be added to the calendar with full agreement of the teams.

While France bans tobacco advertising, half of the teams - including the sole French team Renault - are sponsored by cigarette brands.

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