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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Traditional races face uncertain future

Despite talk that Melbourne had secured the future of the Australian Grand Prix through 2015, it now looks as if there is a fly in the ointment.

Sky reports the mayor of the City of Port Philip said residents have had enough of the noise, inconvenience and expense of hosting the race.

"Why should they have to suffer the noise and the inconvenience of a car race in a park, for a race whose public price tag blew out to 41.3million (£19.94m) last year?" Sky reports Councillor Janet Cribbes said. "The race does not benefit Victoria as a whole. It simply doesn't stack up on economic, social or environmental grounds."

While half a world away, with this year’s race at Magny-Cours again looking as if it may be the last, French former world champion Alain Prost has said it is a mistake for Formula One to abandon its traditional venues.

Bernie Ecclestone has been pushing for the French race to move to Paris, but chances of that happening before 2010 are slim, meaning there may not be a French Grand Prix on the 2009 calendar.

"In the end it's the economy that decides - Bernie Ecclestone and the manufacturers - but what we absolutely have to keep is the historic Grands Prix in Europe.” Setanta reports Prost said. "France is a historic country in that sense, with its constructors, engineers and drivers. So we must keep a grand prix, although whether it be in Magny-Cours or around Paris is another discussion.”

Rumors from around the Web...

In case you thought on the heels of another Le Mans victory, Audi might have reconsidered it's F1 future:

"F1 is still not an issue for us," F1-Live reports the Volkswagen-owned marque's chairman Rupert Stadler told the German news agency SID.

Meanwhile, crash.net reports Ultimate Motorsport have confirmed it is in talks to purchase Dietrich Mateschitz’s stake in Toro Rosso.

And grandprix.com discusses rumors Honda is interested in starting up another satellite team. Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six



F1Wolf said...

Well Magny Cours had their last race last year already and then appeared again on 2008 calendar. I suspect that unless alternative track is ready in France by next summer, F1 will return to Magny Cours again. I somehow can't see no French GP on the calendar. Although with Bernie in charge no one can be sure of anything ...

SpeedRead said...

France does have some unique pull. I'd guess if Bernie wants Paris bad enough, the government could extort one more race at Magny-Cours out of him

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