Grand prix could face boycott over warrants

The future of the British Grand Prix came under renewed threat last night amid concern that races in Europe could be boycotted unless teams are exempted from new European Union arrest warrants.

Britain is one of three countries, along with Belgium and Spain, which has introduced the warrants which Formula One officials fear could be used against them if a driver is killed on the track.

Max Mosley, the president of the sport's world governing body, FIA, has written on behalf of the teams to the presidents of the sporting bodies in European countries hosting races, expressing their fears over the European Arrest Warrants (EAW).

"This is a matter of serious concern and the FIA will continue to hold talks with the various European Union governments and the European Commission in an attempt to resolve it," Mosley said.

In the letter, team bosses warn that they were only prepared to race in countries whose governments gave a legally enforceable undertaking not to use the warrant following incidents on the track.

"They fear a local magistrate could use the EAW to order the arrest and extradition of team personnel," it says. "The teams say they require the above undertaking if they are to race within the jurisdiction of any of these three countries."

A replacement for the International Formula 3000 Championship, which is preparing for its final season, has been unveiled.

In 2005, a new series known as Formula GP2 will be launched with the aim to provide a stepping stone to Formula One. The new series will step into F3000's shoes as a support championship for Formula One in Europe.