Bernie: F1 may return to France
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has stated the French Grand Prix could be back on the calendar as early as next year.
France, the birthplace of the sport, last held a race in 2008, but a lack of money and a failure to improve Magny Cours saw it fall by the wayside.
However, Ecclestone is ready to do a deal that would see the race up and running in 2013 as a replacement for the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey that has had to be delayed by a year due to construction woes.
After being presented with a painting and a book by Indian Grand Prix promoters to celebrate his 82nd birthday on Sunday and asked whether there was a chance of the French GP returning, he replied: "As far as I'm concerned, yes.
"I'm hoping something can be done in a couple of weeks. We're ready to sign. We have a pen and we're ready to sign the contract.
"Which circuit they are going to use is one thing, and then who is going to pay for it, that's the bottom line.
"But we can do it next year. If they are ready then we can slot it in the calendar."
Other than Magny Cours, there is a chance the race could be held at Paul Ricard, which last staged a GP in 1990.
Ecclestone, meanwhile, has also confirmed the prospect of a cost cap being introduced from 2014, with the budget being set at 250million US dollars (£155milllion).
Ecclestone added: "We're looking at the right way to put it in.
"But I hate this word 'cut', just like that. It's not the way to go.
"What we are trying to do is reduce the necessity to spend money to be competitive so somebody can come into Formula One with a sensible budget and be competitive, not having to spend a fortune.
"I am talking about a maximum spend of everything within a Formula One team, driver salaries and whatever, with the exception of marketing.
"Once we have the principle agreed then we can reduce that amount."