Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone has said that he doesn't expect to see the French Grand Prix return to the sport's calendar before the 2011 season.
The 2009 race, which should have been held at Magny-Cours, was cancelled by the FFSA last month when it announced it was no longer going to promote the event, with focus then turning to finding an alternative venue which could host the race from 2010.
However, plans for a race at Euro Disney came to an end this weekend when the project was abandoned and Ecclestone – who had favoured the Euro Disney idea – said he now felt it was unlikely there would be a French race in 2010.
“I think it's almost certain that there will not be a grand prix in 2010,” he told L'Equipe
. “I always thought the Disney site was the right place for us, the new location that would suit the French Grand Prix.
“There's a lot of infrastructure in place, the trains go there, everyone would know it – it was perfect.”
Despite the Euro Disney plans ending, two other possible venues have since emerged, and Ecclestone said he would look to visit any venue personally to ensure it was the right one for the race.
“The first thing now is that I want to go there myself and see by myself how it looks,” he said. “What we want is to find definitely the right venue, as the French Grand Prix needs to be long-lasting.
“We went to Magny-Cours for political reasons, for the wrong reasons. Let's avoid doing that again.”
Former F1 star Jean-Pierre Beltoise, meanwhile, has expressed his satisfaction that there will be no French Grand Prix at Euro Disney, the 71-year-old telling L'Equipe
: “It's a good thing for French motorsport.
“Why? Because in Paris we lack a circuit for automobile racing and testing. The Disneyland project was for a temporary track that would be active for only three or four days of the year.
“From this point-of-view, the abandonment of the project is good news because the investment can now be used for a true automotive stage that can be used all the year.”
Beltoise – who famously triumphed in the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix, in so doing securing BRM's final victory in the top flight – is championing a different initiative to bring F1 to Sarcelles in Paris' northern suburbs, explaining that organisers of the project are 'in contact' with Ecclestone and adding: “Now we are waiting. We will have an answer in a few weeks.”