French Senate backs F1 circuit at Flins

The French Senate has agreed a plan to authorise the construction of a Formula 1 circuit at Flins, in the Yvelines departement, just to the west of Paris.

The project, which will be known as Yvelines F1 - Automobile Valley" is part of a programme to relaunch the economy in the area, which has been badly affected in recent years by cutbacks in the automobile industry. The scheme has the support of the Prime Minister Francois Fillon and the ruling Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) party.

The plan is for the French GP to return to the F1 calendar in 2011 at a purpose-built circuit on farmland alongside the Seine river. This is right next door to the vast Renault production plant at Flins.

There is opposition to the idea from the opposition Socialist Party as it argues that 400 jobs will be lost in the Magny-Cours region - a socialist stronghold. There is also opposition to the idea from ecologists as the track will be built on land next to the Seine. This is currently farming land but is adjacent to the vast Renault factory of Flins. There is a direct railway connection from the site to central Paris and the A13 autoroute also passes close to the site.

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