Sports News

Motor racing-No 2009 French GP at Magny-Cours, says Ecclestone

PARIS, May 12 (Reuters) - The French Grand Prix will be held at Magny-Cours for the last time this year but Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he hoped it could return to a new circuit in Paris in 2010.

“We agreed that there would be a French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours in 2008 but not in 2009,” Ecclestone told Monday’s issue of French sports daily L’Equipe.

“(French) Prime Minister Francois Fillon told me we would then see if we could have a Grand Prix in Paris or just outside but that would not necessarily be for 2009, rather for 2010.

“In any case, 2008 will be the last time we continue like this.”

The Magny-Cours circuit, near Nevers in the heart of rural France, has suffered from weak attendances due in part to poor access and insufficient accommodation.

The French Grand Prix could be dropped from the calendar in 2009 unless a new venue is available by then, but Ecclestone was hopeful of eventually staging a race in the French capital.

“I would really love a French Grand Prix in the streets of Paris”, he said.

This year’s French Grand Prix is on June 22. (Writing by Patrick Vignal, Editing by Sonia Oxley)