Despite claims made by Bernie Ecclestone to the contrary, a French Grand Prix is likely to take place in 2008 and Magny-Cours will remain the venue.

Magny-Cours has hosted the French Grand Prix since 1991 but has been blighted by a reputation of producing dull races, while the difficult location and poor attendances brought on by a lack of a French presence on the Formula 1 grid has also worked against it.

Nonetheless, France remains an important market for Formula 1 and despite Ecclestone's insistence that this year's race would be the last to be held at the Nevers circuit, an alternative venue looks unlikely to be found in time for next season's scheduled race.

Indeed, the race appears to have been saved by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, who met with Ecclestone to discuss the future of the race when the FFSA last week revealed their determination to retain at French Grand Prix for next year.

"He (Ecclestone) agreed in principle to maintain the race at Magny-Cours in 2008, and even 2009, if there were no other alternative," a spokesman for the president told Reuters.

Retaining a race in 2008 could be crucial if France is to retain a place on the F1 calendar in the long-term, the myriad of prospective hosts making any unfavourable venue for Ecclestone potentially under threat.

Indeed, Ecclestone had said that 'there is no future for Magny-Cours, 2007 will be the last race at this circuit', last month

Nonetheless, Magny-Cours reportedly have a contact to hold the race until 2011, by which point a more favourable circuit near the capital city Paris could take its place.

 

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