Motor racing: France out of F1 calendar

The French Grand Prix has been omitted from next year's Formula One world championship calendar, which was announced in Paris yesterday by the FIA, the international governing body of motor sport.

Jacques Regis, the president of the French automobile federation, confirmed that the FIA had decided not to include France in the calendar following a dispute over television rights.

The private French channel TF1 have paid the FIA for the rights, but are currently the subject of court action by the French state channel, FR3, which claims it has the right to broadcast any motor race on French territory.

The FIA had warned that the action meant France would not appear on the 1998 calendar, but French officials had hoped a gap would be left in the calendar allowing the race to be added once the dispute had been resolved.

1998 FORMULA ONE GRAND PRIX PROGRAMME: 8 March: Australian Grand Prix (Albert Park); 29 March: Brazilian (Interlagos); 12 April: Argentinian (Buenos Aires); 26 April: San Marino (Imola); 10 May: Spanish (Barcelona); 24 May: Monaco (Monte Carlo); 7 June: Canadian (Montreal); 12 July: British (Silverstone); 26 July: Austrian (Spielberg); 2 August: German (Hockenheim); 16 August: Hungarian (Budapest); 30 August: Belgian (Spa-Francorchamps); 13 September: Italian (Monza); 27 September: Luxembourg (Nurburgring, Germany); 11 October: Portuguese (Estoril); 1 November: Japanese (Suzuka).

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