Romain Grosjean has admitted he hopes France’s touted return to the F1 calendar is shown the green light.
Amid expectations he would announce a race at Paul Ricard will go ahead in 2013, French prime minister Francois Fillon instead said last Friday that talks are ongoing.
“I’m crossing my fingers that it will happen,” Lotus driver and Frenchman Grosjean told RMC Sport. “I think the enthusiasm for motor sport (in France) has been reborn,” he added, referring to the presence on this year’s grid of three French race drivers, plus Force India reserve Jules Bianchi.
“There has been lots of positive feedback after the first two races and also the first points for Jean-Eric (Vergne). I hope we will have a grand prix soon enough.”
Patrick Tambay, a former grand prix driver from France, believes politics can be thanked for the country’s touted return to the calendar.
“I feel that the grand prix de France broke into the presidential campaign,” he said. “Since 2008, we hardly heard anything about it, and now it’s a hot topic. There is a strong desire to make it work.
“All that remains is to validate the decision and set a timetable.”
Claude Sage, the administrator of the Le Castellet circuit, said Paul Ricard will be ready.
“The circuit is approved for Formula One,” he said. “We need to prepare the facilities for the public, in the form of temporary stands, as in Monaco. We have room to install them.”