JUNE 22, 2011
French looking to revive GP
French premier Francois Fillon is keen to get the French GP back onto the F1 calendar and has put together an action group that includes Renault team principal Eric Boullier and Paul Ricard circuit manager Gerard Neveu.
The French GP has not been run since 2008, when financial problems put paid to the Magny Cours event first run in 1991.
Paul Ricard hosted the French GP in the seventies and eighties, last holding it in 1990, since when Bernie Ecclestone bought the venue, invested money and turned it into the multi-layout HTTT (High Technology Test Track).
It is doubtful, however, whether the infrastructure of the surrounding area is sufficient to sustain a current grand prix.
The French national sporting authority, the FFSA, has actively looked for a Magny Cours replacement, considering projects in Paris, Rouen, Versailles and Flins, but none came to fruition.
There has been a suggestion that a revived French race could alternate with the Belgian GP at Spa. The level of support for a French GP remains to be seen, however. Renault's future participation in F1 is said to depend on the adoption of the small capacity turbo engine scheduled for 2013 but currently under discussion, and the last time a Frenchman won a GP was Olivier Panis at Monaco in 1996...