Despite the weekend news that Dubai is to form its own Formula One operation in conjunction with McLaren and Mercedes, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum shows no sign in letting attention deflect from his A1 Grand Prix project.

The series was the talk of the recent SPORTEL convention in Monaco, after television sports executives were given a chance to find out first hand just what the championship was offering. The first A1 Grand Prix car took centre stage at the event, and the series concluded several major television rights deals, as well as initiating discussion with other potential broadcasters. Negotiations for the rights are in the hands of Richard Dorfman, who negotiated similar deals for the last rugby and football World Cups.

"SPORTEL Monaco was a great success for A1, as it provided a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our series to the majority of the world's broadcasters," he said, "The reception we received from them was extremely positive, with some deals signed, and many others now in negotiation. The enthusiasm generated for the A1 concept was universal and holds the forthcoming championship in good stead."

Sheikh Maktoum was able to discuss his concept with the broadcasters in Monaco, but also met with Prince Albert during his four days at the exhibition.

The self-styled 'World Cup of Motorsport' will kick off in the autumn of 2005, and will pit country versus country in a one-make series.



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