Todt vows to help push for French GP revival

By on Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Jun.7 (GMM) Jean Todt has backed reports France could return to the formula one calendar in future with a race to alternate annually with famous Belgian venue Spa-Francorchamps.

A French newspaper quoted Spa promoter Andre Maes on Sunday as saying he had been recently "asked about" an alternating deal by French officials.

"This may be interesting, so I am waiting for further news," he told the Journal du Dimanche.

Well-known French commentator Jean-Louis Moncet asked FIA president Todt about the reports on Monday and published his response in his Auto Plus column.

"As president of the FIA, I am not directly involved in organising the grand prix of France but as I am French I would like to see it regain its place on the calendar.

"I know that many people are involved and trying to find a positive solution, particularly at the highest levels of government, but for now we must leave them to address the problem.

"If we can give a final push, we will," added Todt.

"I have heard about the possibility of an alternation, but quite informally. So I don't have the information to be able to comment any further."

It is believed the venue most likely for the scheme is not Magny Cours, the scene of the last French grand prix in 2008, but Paul Ricard at Le Castellet, a circuit with close links to F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

"It is surely one of the best circuits in the world," the 80-year-old is quoted by "It would be ideal.

"If someone comes to me and says 'I have the money and need a circuit to organise a grand prix', even if they are from China, as long as we can race in France, I'll be happy," added Ecclestone.

The Journal du Dimanche said French prime minister Francois Fillon has appointed countryman and Renault team boss Eric Boullier to help with the efforts to revive the French GP.

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