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France close to return to F1 calendar
Friday, March 30, 2012 5:05 PM

France close to return to F1 calendar

PARIS: Prime Minister Francois Fillon will visit the Le Castellet circuit in southern France on Friday amid speculation that he could announce the country's return to the Formula One calendar next year.

A ministry source said Fillon would present an update on the situation and indicate that France was ready to host Formula One for the first time since 2008.

Le Parisien newspaper reported he would announce Le Castellet as the venue for a race in 2013, alternating with Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps.

It indicated the annual fee payable to Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone would be less than 20 million euros (RM82mil).

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, after which the grand prix moved to Magny-Cours in central France.
 -Reuters

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