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F1 nearly run off the road by French bureaucrats

June 28 - A UK-based agent for bespoke abnormal load permit routes throughout Europe has revealed road freight law changes in France hit Formula 1 at the Monaco Grand Prix, last weekend.

Several F1 teams ran into transportation problems after the Monaco Grand Prix due to administrative changes to bank holiday transportation rules, says Marc Wodehouse, managing director of Sussex-based European Abnormal Freight Logistics (EAFL).

He says: "This year's Canadian Grand Prix could have been short of a few parts thanks to new laws created by the incoming French government. The F1 teams needing to transport their equipment across France on the Monday after the Monaco Grand Prix found they suddenly did not have the necessary documentation needed for all their trucks."

F1 teams have previously benefited from a 'Derogation de Court Duree', a special dispensation for F1 vehicles to travel on bank holidays and other weekend days when normal road freight is not allowed to move. The dispensation, given where a bank holiday would affect the race schedule, used to be issued by the local authority but the new French government recently moved the responsibility to the central government transport department.

EAFL was contacted by two teams and a TV broadcast unit looking to move vehicles to East Midlands airport in the UK for flights to Canada. He says: "The dispensation is only given where it is shown that the transporter has to travel from A to B within a restricted time frame and that any weekend or public holiday or local restriction would affect the race schedule."

EAFL turned to F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone for help in the process; he was persuaded to make a direct appeal for dispensation.

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