Paul_Ricard_tribunes_stands

The Paul Ricard circuit, photo by Baptiste Vialatte

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon visiting the Paul Ricard circuit at La Castellet near Marsaille gave an update regarding the 2013 French Grand Prix, negotiations are ongoing and finnicial arrangements and a circuit to share with need to be agreed. With elections not many weeks away it may be that Fillon was hoping for more positive news, what will make some people happy though is the announcement that no government unding will be given to the race, which is expected to cost $20 million to host.

 

The organisers and Francopis Fillon himself have draft contracts that are all but agreed it seems but the thing stopping an announcement that the Grand Prix is certain to return in 2013 is the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. The French Grand Prix is thought to be likely to alternate with the Belgian Grand Prix so that each will take place every other year. The Belgians however, though they are keen to alternate, do have a contract that doesn’t end until after 2013 meaning they are currently contracted to host the race next season. It may even be then that the French Grand Pric could still be delayed until 2014 or that both races could take place in 2013, with the Russian Grand Prix running from 2014 one race could take that slot next season if needed. Other options to share a race with could include the Red Bull ring in Austria or even a non European race with several countries such as Mexico waiting in the wings for the chance to host a race.

 

Some still expected a full confirmation of the race today but as expected it was more an opportunity to release details of the race including provisional dates and the costs which newspapers have already reported to be around €20 million, reasonable compared to many races and perhaps helped by the fact Bernie Ecclestone is the owner of the Paul Ricard circuit.