The Magny-Cours and Paul Ricard circuits are both bidding to revive the French Grand Prix in 2013.
They have each presented their case to the French motor sport federation, the FFSA, which has been asked to compile a report on the economic viability of the race by the French government. The FFSA, which was due to file its findings in September, claims it has a draft agreement with Formula One Management for the return of the French GP.
The two bids are quite different and would mitigate against the tracks sharing the fixture: Ricard wants to host the GP only once every two years on a date at the end of August or early in September; Magny-Cours wants an annual race on the traditional French GP date of early July.
Both circuits are part of groupements d’intérêt public (GIPs) established in conjunction with their local authorities. It is either of these groups that would do the deal with Bernie Ecclestone for the GP and become its promoter.
Ricard claims it does not need financial backing from central government to afford the race on a biennial basis. Conversely, Magny-Cours is seeking a financial guarantee from the government for its bid.
Ricard is looking to host the race on the long circuit last used for the French GP in 1985 (above), albeit with a chicane in the middle of the mile-long Mistral Straight.