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F1 may return to France

2012-07-20 15:16

The new French government has asked the country's motorsport federation to look into the possibility of holding a Formula 1 grand prix at the Magny-Cours circuit, which last hosted a race in 2008.

The French Federation of Motorsports said on Friday that sports minister Valerie Fourneyron asked for a report on the technical, financial and legal conditions that would allow a GPto be organised at Magny Cours or Le Castellet.

Magny-Cours, a circuit in the heart of rural France, became unpopular with sponsors and F1 authorities due to its remoteness and lack of nearby hotels.

Le Castellet, a track in the south of France owned by Bernie Ecclestone, was the favoured choice of the previous government and terms were agreed earlier in 2012 before the change of administration.

RETURN OF F1 RACING

The FFSA said it had contacted F1's commercial rights holder and had been assured that there was a full agreement for a return to the calendar at one of the two circuits.

That could be either permanently or on an alternate basis, sharing with another race such as Belgium's Spa.

Germany's two races already alternate, although there is now uncertainty over the Nurburgring's future as the circuit is set to file for insolvency.

Representatives of Magny-Cours and Le Castellet have been contacted and asked to provide budget forecasts by the beginning of September 2012, said the FFSA.

It added that the forecasts must highlight the "local financial set-up as well as the economical spin offs further to an F1 event on both the local and national level."

It continued: "Based on the elements supplied by the respective project leaders of each circuit, the FFSA will send its report to the Sports Minister mid-September.

"The economic feasibility of promoting a grand prix on one of the two circuits will be measured by this report and is the most important condition for the return of F1 in France."

Reuters