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France, Turkey and now Austria could fill in 2013 calender gap - December 9, 2012 by admin

,”]th 2002 Austrian Grand Prix An Austrian Grand Prix is the latest potential one off race that could be slotted into the 2013 calendar to make up for the cancelled New Jersey Grand Prix of America which should now take place for the first time in 2014.
Initially the French Grand Prix seemed the most likely to fill the gap, which could if successful lead to a permanent place on the calender either at Paul Ricard or Magny Cours. A clash with the Le Mans  24 hours though on the weekend that the Grand Prix America would have taken place made it look like the French Grand Prix would be unviable. Changes to the calender though have now been made possible for a European race to take place in the three week gap before the German Grand Prix which has been moved to the 7th of July.

All that has been confirmed is that this gap will have a European race slotted in, which could include a Turkish Grand Prix, this is a better solution wherever the race is held as if the race had taken place on the weekend after the Canadian Grand Prix, where the New Jersey race was set to take place, then it would have been tough for teams to get from Montreal to Europe in the two days between finishing the Canadian Grand Prix and being set up again to race in Europe.

The gap being made shows Bernie Ecclestone’s determination to make 2013 another 20 race season and he initially backed a French

istanbul pit straight

Istanbul Park Pit Straight Photo Courtesy of Ph-Stop

Grand Prix, which is still a possibility. The Turkish Government though have said it is up to them whether a race happens at Istanbul Park as the funding is not forthcoming but the Turkish Government have since said they wouldn’t fund a race, meaning a 2013 Turkish Grand Prix could still happen if funding is found elsewhere but is less likely. Istanbul Park is a popular circuit with teams and with fans, although seemingly not local fans who failed to fill the stands in the past.

So now the only other circuit that looked like it might have the  setup in place to host a race in 2013, the Red Bull Ring, formerly the A1 Ring, has thrown its hat into the err…. ring. The circuit at Spielberg hasn’t hosted F1 since 2003 but Dietrich Materschitz has invested heavily in the circuit to bring it up to modern standards and bringing back an Austrian Grand Prix to the circuit, potentially alternating with another circuit, has been on the cards for a year or two now, the circuit reopened in early 2011, with little progress. Funding for the race could potentially come from Red Bull as well though and with F2 at the circuit in 2012 it has been put through its paces with top quality motorsport.

The four circuits in question could all provide good races and European F1 fans will be happy to see an extra race on the continent that has been losing races over the last few years with 2013 otherwise set to have the least World Championship F1 races, 7,  since 1969 when there were 7 European races but of a total of 11 Grand Prix .

Magny Cours bid for 2013 French Grand Prix on September 4th - August 13, 2012 by admin
The Magny Cours circuit

The Magny Cours circuit, photo Public Domain

With Paul Ricard still seen as the more likely venue for the potential return of the French Grand Prix in 2013 the Magny Cours circuit’s owners are being given a chance to put their case forward on Tuesday the 4th of September.

 

The French Ministry of Sport decided to review the tabled agreement for a 2013 French Grand Prix at the South France Paul Ricard Circuit, which was close to being signed prior to the French Presidential Elections which saw a change of government; now the French Ministry of Sport have tasked the FFSA (Fédération Française du Sport Automobile/ French Federation of Motor Sport) with researching the best place for the French Grand Prix to be held, if it is viable at all without substantial government funding.

 

It is to the FFSA then including, FFSA president Nicholas Deschaux, that representatives of the Magny Cours circuit will present their case on September the 4th. It is likely to then take a number of weeks for the final report to be prepared and presented to the Ministry of Sport and for the ministry to make a decision and for negotiations for the race to be completed would take a good deal longer meaning a 2013 French Grand Prix looks unlikely though a 2014 French Grand Prix could be a more likely prospect.

Ecclestone confirms ‘no doubt’ on 2013 French Grand Prix deal - April 22, 2012 by admin
Paul_Ricard_tribunes_stands

The Paul Ricard circuit, photo by Baptiste Vialatte

Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed to French Sports Paper L’Equipe that the French Grand Prix will be run in 2013 and a deal has been agreed.

 

It seems terms have been agreed though a contract may not be signed yet but Ecclestone told them that “We actually agreed on financial terms with the Sports Minister, David Douillet, in my office last Tuesday”; although it is belived that the Grand Prix wouldn’t be financed by the Public sector, it could be though that the government are making the fees available to be paid back later from gate receipts.

 

Bernie Ecclestone also made it clear that the race was not dependent on the outcome of the French presidential elections. He said that he would sign the contract “Before the result of the second round of presidential elections in France, if they wish. Whatever the outcome, I do not care”.

 

It isn’t clear if this means that the proposed bi-annual race share agreement with the Belgian Grand Prix has been completed now but the newspaper also confirmed that the race will be every other year at Paul Ricard circuit near Marseilles in South France.

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