France’s return to the F1 calendar is now so close to confirmation that even a provisional race date has been set. It emerged just before Christmas that, with the historic French race having been last held at Magny Cours in 2008, the country’s return to the calendar is likely to take place at Paul Ricard in 2013.
The Nice-Matin newspaper had said the Bernie Ecclestone-linked circuit will thereafter alternate a single annual calendar slot with Belgium’s fabled Spa-Francorchamps.
The news follows last year’s establishment of a French grand prix working body by French prime minister Francois Fillon.
“The case is currently on Fillon’s desk,” said a report in the Paris daily Le Figaro. “He has only to give the green light to sport minister David Douillet and to Nicolas Deschaux, the president of the federation francaise de sport automobile (FFSA).
“The race would be held on 1 September 2013”, Le Figaro revealed, adding that the spectator capacity of the circuit will be lifted to 50,000.