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French government looks at F1 return

France could yet secure a return to the F1 schedule
The new French government is prepared to look into the possibility of F1 making a return to Magny Cours in the coming seasons.

Prior to the French elections, a deal was close to see Paul Ricard host a French GP, with the circuit having emerged as the favoured choice of the previous government and terms being agreed with Bernie Ecclestone to put the race back on the F1 calendar.

That deal wasn't signed however before the elections took place, with the new Socialist government showing less appetite for a race, although that view now seems to have changed, with sports minister Valerie Fourneyron now calling for a report to examine the technical, financial and legal conditions that would allow an F1 race to be run at either Magny Cours or Le Paul Ricard.

According to the French Motorsport Federation – the FFSA – talks have already taken place with Ecclestone to see if a return was still possible, with the race either being run permanently or in alternation with an event elsewhere.

"The president of the French Federation of Automobile Sport, Nicolas Dechaux, was officially requested by the Sports Minister, Valérie Foureyron, to study the technical, financial, and legal conditions in which the French Grand Prix could be organised on either or both the Paul Ricard Castellet or the Magny-Cours Nevers circuits," the FFSA said.

"The FFSA firstly contacted the holder of the Formula 1 commercial rights, the FOWC Company. The latter confirmed its full agreement to the return of F1 in France on one of the two circuits either on a permanent or alternate basis.

"The representatives of the two circuits where also contacted by the FFSA in order gather information concerning the organisation of a Grand Prix and the principal economical issues.

"The commercial and financial data communicated by the FOWC will help each circuit elaborate a budget forecast which must highlight the local financial set up as well as the economical spinoffs further to an F1 event on both the local and national level.

"Based on the elements supplied by the respective project leaders of each circuit beginning of September, the FFSA will then send its report to the Sports Minister, mid-September.

"The economical feasibility of promoting a Grand Prix on one of the two circuits will be measured by this report and is the most important condition for the return of Formula 1 in France."

The last French GP, at Magny Cours, took place back in 2008.




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