Formula 1 Return For France Imminent

By iSportconnect | March 30, 2012

France are set to return to the Formula One calendar for the first time since 2008 with Prime Minister Francois Fillon set to visit the Paul Ricard Circuit on Friday amid speculation that the Le Castellet venue could stage a race as early as 2013.

For many years, France have been looking to earn a return to the sport and it is reported that Fillon is set to present an update on the situation. The newspaper stated that Fillon would announce Paul Ricard as the venue for a race in 2013 in a deal that will allow France to alternate F1 hosting rights with Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps.

The relegation of the historic Spa circuit to a biennial event would prove popular amongst many F1 fans, with the Belgian Grand Prix regarded as one of the most historic on the calendar. However, local organisers have been enduring financial problems – a factor that also led to the removal of France’s Magny-Cours circuit from the calendar in 2009.

Le Parisien indicated that the annual fee to be paid to Formula One’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone for the hosting rights to the new race would be less than Eur20 million. Paul Ricard staged F1 races from 1971 to 1990 and France’s seemingly imminent return to the sport comes when the country boasts three drivers on the 2012 grid in the form of Romain Grosjean at Lotus, Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso and Charles Pic at Marussia.