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France, Belgium yet to pay up

2012-03-04 14:10

FRENCH GRAND PRIX TO RETURN It's been several years but France could return to the F1 calendar in 2013, assuming they pay up.

Bernie Ecclestone is leading negotiations as France tries to return to the Formula 1 calendar.

The country's government is pushing to include Paul Ricard on the 2013 calendar, with a deal to alternate annually a single race date with Belgum's Spa-Francorchamps.

RMC Sport
reports that Paris has formally requested Ecclestone, F1's chief executive, to send them the contract.

The report said a crucial detail was missing - the necessary race fee.

NOT WILLING

As those negotiations begin, it is revealed that Eric Boullier, Lotus team principal, met Ecclestone in London to talk about it. Boullier had tried to "speed things up", the French language report said.

RMC added that Spa-Francorchamps' Belgian promoters currently spend R223.5-million per race on a FP, a figure neither they nor France are willing to pay in 2013 and beyond.

"Both have set a maximum of R148-million per race," the report said.

The responsible Belgian minister, Jean-Claude Marcourt, declined to comment.
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