France 'ready' to make Grand Prix return
8 March 2012 – France's Sports Minister, David Douillet, has explained that his country is now fully ready to make a Formula 1 return, with a biennial race expected to be finalised in the near future. However, the event cannot be confirmed until the owners of Spa-Francorchamps - the circuit which will alternate with French venue Paul Ricard - negotiate changes to a contract with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
"I have told Bernie Ecclestone that we are ready,” Douillet told RMC Sport. “We have taken care of the finances, so now we wait for the position of our Belgian colleagues, since the project is going to alternate between Le Castellet and Spa. As reported last week, it is the Belgian side that is slow to agree.
"They have constraints with respect to a contract that still binds them to Bernie Ecclestone, for the use of the circuit (they still have a year on the contract). They need to work it out amongst themselves. But we are ready and we need it. I have to remind you that we have a strong car industry in France.”
Magny-Cours hosted the most recent French Grand Prix back in 2008, a race won by Felipe Massa after his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Räikkönen hit exhaust problems.