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French GP return to be confirmed imminently

29 March 2012

Despite doubts to the contrary in recent weeks, the French Grand Prix looks set to be returned to the F1 calendar with an official confirmation in the next 24 hours.

Timed to coincide with sportscar testing at Paul Ricard, French media reports believe that prime minister Francois Fillon will put in a personal appearance to announce that the first French GP since 2008 will take place next season, before entering into an alternating agreement with its Belgian counterpart.

No further details were apparent ahead of the announcement, and there was a notable lack of circuit confirmation, although the decision for Fillon to stop off at Le Castellet while on his way to the Mediterranean may have more significance than simply coinciding with the presence of other cars at the historic circuit.

Various venues have been mooted over the four years since France last appeared on the schedule, with previous host Magny-Cours being joined by potential players from the national capital, all hoping to cash in on Bernie Ecclestone's preference for a race in, or at least closer to, Paris.

The story of the race's imminent return, as reported in Le Parisien also reveals that all state investments in the resurrection will be traceable via a 'general interest group', beginning with an apparent reduction in the initial hosting fee from €28m to €20m.


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