France’s sports minister insists the country is still on course to return to the F1 calendar.
Recently, a deal to see the Paul Ricard circuit annually share a grand prix date with Belgium’s fabled Spa-Francorchamps seemed imminent. But although the key meeting with Bernie Ecclestone took place nearly a month ago now, sports minister David Douillet said the 2013 French grand prix “is not dead”.
“We have three new French drivers in F1 and so we have to have a grand prix de France,” he is quoted by TF1 television. “That’s my job.
“France is the land of the grand prix,” added Douillet. “I met with Bernie Ecclestone and he is totally willing to share it between Belgium and France. He has mobilised and motivated local governments for the financing of the event, even if we are yet to have all the details from our Belgian friends.
“There are also some details to go with one or two of the close cities. We are almost there,” he insisted.