Politics still threatening French GP return

Politics are still in play, as France pushes to return to the F1 calendar.

According to Bernie Ecclestone, a financial deal is in place that will see Paul Ricard join the 2013 calendar, alternating annually thereafter with the fabled Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. But Francois Hollande, the socialist frontrunner in France’s presidential election this weekend, has now revealed that the issue of the grand prix will be assessed “in the aftermath of the election”.

“We will review it if we are elected,” he is quoted by Auto Hebdo in France. “I don’t think the state should spend anything on a grand prix.”

But it is reported that Prime minister Francois Fillon has set up a public interest group that means the government is not a direct contributor to the 2013 race. Nicolas Sarkozy, the presidential incumbent, reiterated his support.

“We cannot have a narrow vision,” he is quoted by the L’Equipe sports daily. “We are a country with two global carmakers in Renault and PSA, and now three young promising French drivers in F1.

“It should be that we have a grand prix,” insisted Sarkozy.


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