The attempted revival of the French grand prix is not yet dead in the water.
Until former president Nicolas Sarcozy lost the country’s recent general election, France looked destined for a spot on the 2013 calendar, with Paul Ricard set to alternate an annual race date with Belgium. But F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone admitted in Monaco: “I think maybe the election that has taken place might have put that back a bit.
“I think you will have to wait and see if we see more. Only time will tell,” said the 81-year-old.
New president Francois Hollande had warned that he would “review” the F1 project if elected, his sports minister Valerie Fourneyron adding subsequently that the issue “deserves more attention than ten minutes”. Indeed, Fourneyron appears to be honouring her promise to give the project more attention.
The sports daily L’Equipe reports that she will meet early this week with Nicolas Deschaux, the president of France’s motor racing sanctioning body FFSA (Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile). Attending with Deschaux will be a delegation representing the Var region as well as Paul Ricard, the circuit owned by Ecclestone’s family trust.
And recent French grand prix host Magny Cours is also not yet out of the picture, with a delegation representing the circuit and the Nievre region also scheduled to meet with Fourneyron in a separate meeting on Friday.