July 20 France's Socialist government has asked
the country's motorsport federation to look into the possibility
of holding a Formula One Grand Prix at the Magny-Cours circuit
that hosted the race before it fell off the calendar.
The French Federation (FFSA) said on Friday that Sports
Minister Valerie Fourneyron had asked for a report on the
technical, financial and legal conditions that would allow a
prix to be organised at Magny Cours or Le Castellet.
Magny-Cours, a circuit in the heart of rural France, fell
out of favour with sponsors and Formula One authorities due to
its remoteness and lack of nearby hotels. It last hosted a grand
prix in 2008.
Le Castellet, a track in the south of France owned by a
family trust set up by Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone,
was the favoured choice of the previous government and terms
were agreed earlier this year before the change of
The FFSA said it had contacted Formula One's commercial
rights holder and had been assured that there was a full
agreement for a return to the calendar at one of the two
That could be either permanently or an an alternate basis,
sharing with another race such as Belgium's Spa.
Germany's two races already alternate, although there is now
uncertainty over the Nuerburgring's future with that circuit set
to file for insolvency.
Representatives of Magny-Cours and Le Castellet have been
contacted and asked to provide budget forecasts by the beginning
of September, said the FFSA.
It added that the forecasts must highlight the "local
financial set-up as well as the economical spinoffs further to
an F1 event on both the local and national level."
"Based on the elements supplied by the respective project
leaders of each circuit...the FFSA will send its report to the
Sports Minister mid-September.
"The economic feasibility of promoting a grand prix on one
of the two circuits will be measured by this report and is the
most important condition for the return of Formula One in
France," said the FFSA.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Alastair Himmer)