This weekend's Formula One weekend at Magny-Cours is the last in France for at least a couple of years and probably the last to run at the maligned Nevers facility, but no-one wants to see the originator of the grand prix concept disappear from the calendar completely.

Speaking in the official Friday press conference at the circuit, the various team bosses present insisted that France needed to have a place on the schedule, but agreed that perhaps a new venue needed to be found to make it more of a success than it has been at the challenging, but remote, Magny-Cours.

"France is one of the important counties in Europe, and for Renault it is important to have a race in France," Flavio Briatore reasoned, "Really, we don't care about the logistics - if it is in Magny-Cours or in Paris - but I think it is important for everybody because France, Italy, Germany, Spain and England are the five countries in Europe that are important for the history of Formula One. Maybe not at Magny-Cours, but I hope we hold a grand prix in France."

Toyota's John Howett agreed, but admitted that 'we have to go and compete wherever the commercial rights holder decides we have to', while Jean Todt came out in support of a race in Paris - albeit admitting that there were complications to running a race in the heart of the city.

"Formula One is a business but, if you ask me personally, I love the French Grand Prix," the Ferrari boss said, "But let us leave sentimental reasons behind. France is a very important country and economy. It is one of the leading countries in the European environment and it is important to have a grand prix in France. It is not up to me where it should be, but in answer to the question I hope that France will have a grand prix for the future. It is important as well for the Formula One calendar.

"If you are asking me, a dream grand prix would be in Paris but, unfortunately, I don't think it is practical. You have so many things - about the environment, all the historic places, where you cannot make noise and where there is not the proper asphalt and all that. That is why definitely it has to be in a motor car stadium and, in France, you don't have so many of these or what you also call a racing circuit."

 

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