France inching towards F1 return
The French Grand Prix appears to be inching closer to a return to the calendar after the country's prime minister, Francois Fillon, confirmed on Friday that a new deal is being negotiated.
France has not held a grand prix since 2008, but organisers have been working on a return with Formula One Management (FOM) that would see the race run at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of the country. The plan is for the event to alternate year on year with another venue, most likely Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, but details have yet to be confirmed and a contract has yet to be signed.
"It is not possible to organise a grand prix every year [in France]," Fillon was quoted by Autosport. "We are working on the idea of organising a grand prix every other year at Castellet [Paul Ricard] and every other year in another country."
Fillon added: "The organisers [FOM] have approved F1, but without saying what the other country will be. The proposals are quite reasonable, but it is not done yet."
According to reports there is still a €2 million gap between FOM's proposed sanctioning fee and what the organisers are willing to pay.