French GP in line for a 2013 return

Updated: 28 October 2012 19:27 IST

Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone on Sunday said the French Grand Prix could return to the calendar as early as next year -- the first time the country will have held the race since 2008.

French GP in line for a 2013 return
©

New Delhi:

Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone on Sunday said the French Grand Prix could return to the calendar as early as next year -- the first time the country will have held the race since 2008.

"As far as I am concerned, yes," he told reporters at the Indian Grand Prix when asked if there was a chance of a French Grand Prix in 2013.

"We are ready to sign. We've got a pen, we're ready to sign a contract. If they are ready, we can slot it in the calendar."

The original 20-race calendar for 2013, published at the end of last month, did not include a slot for French Grand Prix.

However, the French GP could replace the New Jersey race, which was recently postponed as the venue would not be ready in time.

Ecclestone, who turned 82 on Sunday, said the venue and the funding for the French race remained a grey area for the moment.

"Which circuit they are going to use is one thing... Who is going to pay for it, that's the bottom line. If they are ready, we can slot it in the calendar."

Le Castellet in the south of France and Magny-Cours, which last hosted the race in 2008, were the two tracks in line to host the race until the French government made it clear that it would not spend money to back the event.

However, Le Castellet managers are confident that they can organise a race in 2013 without funding from the French state.

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