France's hopes of returning to the F1 calendar have taken a knock. Recently, it emerged that Paul Ricard and Magny Cours had submitted formal proposals as the motor racing federation FFSA pushes to organise the first French grand prix since 2008.
But France's sports minister Valerie Fourneyron dealt a blow to the plans this week, when she ruled out government financial support or guarantees for the race. "The minister reminded that it is not the task of the state to organise a formula one grand prix," confirmed the sports ministry.
FFSA president Nicolas Deschaux said he "regrets" the government's position, "especially given the support provided by the state to other sporting events". "I think the fight is not over," former French grand prix driver Patrick Tambay
told RMC Sport. "There may be solutions from the private side."
France was missing from the draft 2013 calendar that emerged in the paddock of the recent Singapore grand prix. The FIA's World Council will meet to ratify the schedule on Friday. "I still believe," Tambay continued. "If a sponsor provides the guarantees, Ecclestone will sign, and the federation will be obliged to follow to the extent that the specifications are met." (GMM)