The return of the French Grand Prix on the F1 calendar is thought to be so close to being confirmed that a provisional race date has been set for 2013.

10587 - French Grand Prix close to 2013 return

Magny Cours was the last circuit to host the French Grand Prix in 2008 but the Bernie Ecclestone-linked Paul Ricard has emerged as the leading contender to host the next race, possibly alternated on a bi-annual basis with Belgium's famous Spa-Francorchamps.

The news follows the establishment of a French Grand Prix working body by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon in 2011.

"The case is currently on Fillon's desk," said a report in Le Figaro."He has only to give the green light to sport minister David Douillet and to Nicolas Deschaux, the president of the federation francaise de sport automobile (FFSA). The (first) race would be held on 1 September 2013."