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France close to F1 return

2012-03-30 07:16

PARIS, France - French Prime Minister Francois Fillon will visit the Le Castellet race circuit in southern France on March 30 amid speculation that he could announce the country's return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2013.

A ministry source said Fillon would present an update on the situation that would indicate that France was ready to host F1 for the first time since 2008. The newspaper Le Parisien claimed he would announce Le Castellet as the 2013 venue, alternating with Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps.

THREE PATRIOTIC DRIVERS


It indicated the annual fee payable to F1's commercial head Bernie Ecclestone would be less than 20 million euros (R205 million).

France, after going through a lean spell, now has three F1 drivers on the 2012 grid: Romain Grosjean at Lotus, Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso and Charles Pic at Marussia.

Le Castellet hosted F1 races from 1971-90, after which the Grand Prix moved to Magny-Cours in central France.

Reuters