The new boss of Magny-Cours has confirmed that the Nevers circuit is taking 'discreet' steps to get the French Grand Prix re-instated on the annual F1 calendar – but he stresses that any negotiations must revolve around a 'reasonable price'.
Having hosted the very first grand prix motor race all the way back in 1906, France has now been absent from the top flight schedule since 2008 – and since then, a number of efforts by the sport's supremo Bernie Ecclestone to see a circuit built either through the streets of Paris or in Disneyland have come to nought.
Magny-Cours welcomed F1 every year from 1991 until 2008, but one of the reasons that the track was sidelined – aside from the inevitable financial one – was its rural location and resultant difficulty of access. New chairman Serge Saulnier, however, has affirmed that race-goers will soon be 'able to come from Paris without interruption to the door of the circuit' as he bids to secure the French Grand Prix's return.
“If France is re-instated on the calendar in the near future, it could only be at Magny Cours,” the ex-Peugeot Sport chief told French magazine Auto Hebdo
. “The key to F1's return to France is the promotion – it is necessary to re-negotiate the price to a reasonable level.
“We know that the state or the local authorities are not going to put in five or six million Euros for the loss. If there is a chance of having the grand prix back, the negotiation – as it was for the Canadian Grand Prix – must be done on a reasonable basis. We are going to work on it discreetly, and without haste.”
Magny-Cours has also been mooted as a potential stand-in venue should the inaugural Korean Grand Prix due to take place later this season in October prove unable to go ahead [see separate story – click here