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Mosley Sets New Date for Drivers' Meeting

Formula One drivers have been invited to discuss their safety concerns with the sport's governing body in the French Riviera resort of Cannes on August 1st

"August 1, in the afternoon, in Cannes," FIA president Max Mosley told Reuters at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

The date is the Monday after the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest and marks the start of Formula One's three-week break when there is no testing allowed and drivers will be on vacation.

The meeting was originally scheduled for Silverstone last Friday but was called off after Mosley took exception to published comments by Red Bull's British driver David Coulthard.

Mosley, who lives in nearby Monaco, said Cannes would be convenient for many of the drivers who also lived in the Mediterranean principality. "For the rest, it's just a question of getting in the private jet," he added.

The FIA said however that the meeting would go ahead only if at least half the current super-licence holders confirmed their attendance by next Friday. The drivers want the FIA to ensure safety measures at private tests are on a par with those at Grands Prix and have also expressed concern about the handling of the US Grand Prix tyre fiasco.

The FIA said the agenda would focus on private testing, proposed technical and sporting regulations for 2008 and "any other business".

Good Relationship

Mosley, who is at odds with some of the teams and manufacturers over the sport's future direction, said he had a good relationship with the drivers but urged them to stay out of paddock politics.

"Their fundamental problem is that they want the same safety measures at private testing that they have at a Grand Prix," he said.

"All logic and reason says that that should happen because there is more risk of an accident probably at private testing than at a Grand Prix, from component failure.

"The problem is that it will be more expensive for the teams," added Mosley, whose term of office runs out in October when he is expected to stand for re-election.

"So if I start insisting on that, which we could do because we are completely responsible for circuit safety, I am going to have the teams against me."

Mosley said he had called off the Friday meeting to prevent it turning into a media circus after the drivers signed a statement backing the seven Michelin teams for withdrawing from the US Grand Prix for tyre safety reasons.

Coulthard had also been critical of the regulations in a private capacity.

"What I said to the drivers before this proposed meeting was 'I am about to take the teams on, on your behalf, it's not my quarrel, but now you've gone and signed a letter to undermine me, in my other discussion with the teams, this puts me in a difficult position'," said Mosley.

"Really the sensible thing is don't get involved in the politics, let's deal with the safety," Mosley said of his advice to the drivers.

He expected testing safety would be improved. "I think it will, it's just a question of time," he said.

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