• French Grand Prix

France ready to hold F1 race

ESPNF1 Staff
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Paul Ricard would be the venue of choice for a French Grand Prix return © Sutton Images

French sports minister David Douillet insists his country is ready to host a grand prix and is now waiting on Spa-Francorchamps to agree to share its slot on the calendar from 2013 onwards.

Bernie Ecclestone recently told Sky Sports he wants more European venues to alternate the hosting of races year by year - as Hockenheim and the Nurburgring currently do - and he said Belgium and France would make a good match. Douillet told RMC Sport that everything else is now in place for France to stage its first Formula One race since 2008.

"I have told Bernie Ecclestone that we are ready," he said. "We have done the financial side, on which he agreed. Now we wait for the position of our Belgian friends, since the project is to alternate between Le Castellet (Paul Ricard) and Spa."

He said the hold-up with Belgium is because of Spa-Francorchamps' existing contract with Ecclestone for a race every year.

"They need to work it out amongst themselves," he added. "But we are ready, and - for our car industry - we need it."