France’s new sports minister has confirmed there is some doubt the country will return to the F1 calendar next year.
Bernie Ecclestone announced recently that, with a French race having been absent from F1 since 2008, Paul Ricard could – starting from 2013 – share an annually rotating date with Belgium’s Spa Francorchamps. But then the French government changed.
The new sports minister is Valerie Fourneyron, who told RMC: “There was a remarkable acceleration in this issue recently. There have been no grands prix since 2008, and we have no opposition to there being a grand prix.
“But we need to know how much the state will have to take any shortfall on the financial side. And regarding Le Castellet (Paul Ricard), there are major accessibility problems. All this deserves more attention than ten minutes,” said Fourneyron, who also raised environmental concerns.
“There is no guarantee of seeing a grand prix de France next year but there is no objection,” she added.