The Paul Ricard circuit, photo by Baptiste Vialatte

So the New York Grand Prix of America, to be held at Port Imperial has missed the boat with finances and won’t take place in 2013 despite having been put on the provisional calendar as part of a double header with the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. It seems though that the French Grand Prix, despite a decision being needed on where it would be held and no finance in place for either option could still be on the 2013 calendar: its advantage being two candidate circuits, Magny Cours and Paul RIcard, that are ready to go.
The return of the French Grand Prix has been a long running saga and it had looked dead in the water for 2013 at least when the new government under President Francois Hollande ordered a review into the race that the previous government had all but signed a contract for: to take place at  at the Paul Ricard circuit close to Marsailles.
The loss of the Grand Prix of America from the calendar though offers an interesting opportunity as it seems that the French Grand Prix may be able to sign a one year deal to fill in next year. This would allow the government of whichever region the race takes place in to minimise their risk, a one off race that was poorly attended would have less potential for loss than a five or more year deal that then loses money each year.

If the French race was successful of course then a new deal could be agreed and another race may be forced to make way or agree a deal to alternate with the French race, though which race this would be is now less obvious since the Belgian Grand Prix signed a new deal to host the their race every year, Spa Frnachorchamps had been considering a race share with the French Grand Prix earlier this year.

The German Grand Prix is a candidate though if the Nurburgring fails to sort out its finances and cannot continue alternating with the Hockenheimring who have said they can host a race every year but may prefer a race every other year if the deal is right.

Whatever happens regarding negotiations for a 2013 French Grand Prix though will probably happen fast or not at all: time is ticking and though the two options of Magny Cours (in central France close to Clermont Ferrand) and Paul Ricard are both up to Formula One standards already there is more to putting on a Grand Prix than this and promoters would want to begin selling tickets as soon as possible, probably by the end of 2012, to ensure enough were sold to cover costs. Of course with a gap in the calendar, and right in the middle of the European season, Bernie may be willing to reduce the cost, especially for a race at the Paul Ricard circuit that he happens to own.

Bernie certainly seems keen on one of the French circuits filling the gap, though he is also in no doubts that the Grand Prix of America will take place at Port Imperial in 2014. Mr Ecclestone this week was quoted as saying of a 2013 French Grand Prix:

“Which circuit they are going to use is one thing… Who is going to pay for it, that’s the bottom line. If they are ready, we can slot it in the calendar.”

November 2, 2012 at 9:11 pm by admin
Category: Circuit News, Race News