France could be absent from 2009 calendar

Tue, 13 May 2008, 08:52

France could be absent from the formula one calendar in 2009, despite Bernie Ecclestone’s strong desire to move the race to the streets of the capital Paris.

The F1 chief executive said in an interview on Monday with the national sports newspaper L’Equipe that this year will be the last visit to the unpopular Magny Cours venue.

Ecclestone, 77, said he has been told by French prime minister Francois Fillon that he will look into the possibility of a Paris race.

“But that would not necessarily be for 2009, rather for 2010,” the Briton explained. “In any case, 2008 will be the last time we continue like this.”

2009 could therefore be the first time since 1955 that France does not host a grand prix.

Magny Cours, located near the central rural region of Nevers, is one of the least popular destinations on the calendar, due to its isolated location and lack of accommodation.

Referring to Nevers in 2005, Red Bull Racing declared in a pre-race preview: “If you pronounce it the English way, it perfectly describes how many times people want to come back.”

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