France confirm talks to host F1 GP

Fri, 30 Mar 17:40:00 2012

Talks are ongoing with Formula One authorities about a return to the calendar for the French Grand Prix, which would be held every other year, prime minister Francois Fillon has confirmed.

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The grand prix would be held at the Le Castellet circuit, in southern France, Fillon told a news conference without giving any dates.

France last hosted a grand prix in 2008 at Magny-Cours.

"We are working on the idea of hosting a grand prix every other year at Le Castellet. This idea was agreed by the Formula One authorities," Fillon said.

"It is not up to me to set a date for a grand prix," he added, confirming France would alternate with another country.

Local media reported this week that Fillon would announce a French Grand Prix for 2013.

France and Formula One organisers are still discussing the fee payable to F1's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, he added.

"The Formula One organisers' proposal is reasonable enough, but we have to make them remove the 'enough'," Fillon said.

"There is a two-million-euro gap. French state will bail for (the fee) but we will not go further."

French daily Le Parisien reported on Thursday the fee would be less than 20 million euros ($26.63 million), but Fillon refused to disclose any other details on the fee.

After going through a lean spell, France now has three Formula One drivers on the starting grid, with Romain Grosjean at Lotus, Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso and Charles Pic at Marussia.

Le Castellet hosted Formula One races from 1971 to 1990.

Reuters

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