Paddock postcard from France 04 Jul 2004
The surprise announcement of Max Mosleys imminent retirement as President of the FIA has dominated the Magny-Cours weekend. Mosley was a guest at a gathering of long-timers on Friday evening at the invitation of the Formula One Constructors Association.
Mixing with Bernie Ecclestone, team principals such as Sir Frank Williams, Ron Dennis, David Richards, Eddie Jordan, Tony Purnell and the likes of Patrick Head, Herbie Blash and FFSA president and French Grand Prix promoter Jacques Regis were former team owner Guy Ligier (now manufacturing single seaters again as part of an agreement with Tico Martini), former Team Lotus team manager Peter Warr, Jochen Rindts widow Nina and Francois Guittier, the man who was responsible for Elfs enthusiastic support of motor racing in the Sixties and Seventies that led to a slew of French drivers getting into Formula One racing, such as Francois Cevert, Patrick Depailler, Didier Pironi, Patrick Tambay, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Rene Arnoux and Alain Prost.
Emphasising how things have improved over the years in the running of Formula One racing, Williams and Dennis reminisced about the distant past of the pre-FOCA days when they would nominate people to watch over the race promoters to ensure that everyone got paid, and the time at one track where the promoter departing for his office was actually busy trying to make his escape out the back window.
Elsewhere on the track a superbly judged drive earned Vitantonio Liuzzi his fourth F3000 victory from five races for Arden International, and with rival Enrico Toccacelo failing to score Liuzzi grabbed back a six-point lead in the series.
In the first Formula Three Euroseries race Britains Jamie Green shattered the lap record to take pole position and then romped home a comfortable winner for ASM. The victory further increased the 21 year-olds lead in the championship. In the second race, to be held this morning, Nico Rosberg is on pole position from ASMs Alexandre Premat, who unfortunately jumped the start in yesterdays event after starting alongside Green on the front row. Green starts this race seventh on the grid.