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GP Week : Issue 173
F1 >>> NEWS With last week’s confirmation that New Jersey would not be joining the F1 calendar in 2013, it was only a matter of time before a list of candidates emerged to replace the delayed race. Given the logistics of slotting another event into an already full calendar, the replacement event would need to be in western Europe, so that teams, trucks, and cars were able to make it from the understudy race to the British Grand Prix at the end of June without a dramatic logistical headache. France is the most sensible option by far: talk of a revived French Grand Prix has been in and out of the news for most of the year, and transport to the UK is about as easy as it gets. Speaking to reporters in the Indian paddock, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that there was a strong chance that France would replace New Jersey. “We can [hold the replacement race in France],” Ecclestone said. “If they are ready, we can slot it in the calendar. ... As far as I’m concerned, yes. I’m hoping ... we’re ready to sign, we’ve got a pen and we’re ready to sign.” When it came to the specifics, however, Ecclestone was typically enigmatic: “Which circuit is going to be used, where and who pays for it ... that's the bottom line.” That last public statement is in direct contrast to the chatter taking place behind the scenes. Magny-Cours is not an option – a revived French Grand Prix, should it happen, will take place at the Paul Ricard Circuit, also known as Le Castellet. As for payment, the French government have already confirmed that they will not be stumping up the cash for the hosting fee, which they rightly see as an extravagance in a time of national austerity. The regional government has already raised $10 million to contribute to the cost of the race, and is actively seeking additional funding from private investors. The biggest outstanding question is that of the date – will the French race form a back-to-back with the British Grand Prix in late June, or will it be a standalone event that pushes Silverstone back into the first week of July? FRENCH GP TO REPLACE NEW JERSEY? OUT: Magny-Cours IN: Paul Ricard Circuit - Le Castellet 5 GPWEEK.com // 5 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: