PM targets Paul Ricard for French GP revival

By on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jun.22 (GMM) The French prime minister has confirmed high-level efforts to revive the country's formula one race.

FIA president and Frenchman Jean Todt revealed recently that "many people ... at the highest levels of government" are pushing to end France's three-year hiatus since Magny Cours stopped hosting its annual event.

We reported on June 7 that the most likely venue for a reinstated French grand prix is Paul Ricard at Le Castellet, a circuit with close links to F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

At the same time, the Journal du Dimanche said French PM Francois Fillon has appointed countryman and Renault team boss Eric Boullier to help with the efforts to organise the event.

"It's true that I have put together a team," the L'Equipe sports daily quoted Fillon as having told the Var Matin newspaper on Tuesday.

"It (the team) is led in particular by one of my former colleagues Gilles Dufeigneux, working with the French motor sport federation, the FIA and also Eric Boullier and the director of Le Castellet, Gerard Neveu," confirmed the prime minister.

The last grand prix at Le Castellet, which has since been redeveloped as the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track, was won by Alain Prost in 1990 before the French event moved to Magny Cours.

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