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F1 NEWS 

Bernie Ecclestone lines up French GP for New Jersey's 2013 slot

Paul Ricard Formula 1 testingFormula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is ready to sign a deal that could put the French Grand Prix back on the calendar next year.

Just a week after the planned New Jersey race was postponed because the venue was not going to be ready in time, Ecclestone revealed in India on Sunday that a replacement race was on the cards.

When asked if there was a chance for the French GP to return, Ecclestone said: "As far as I am concerned, yes. I am hoping.

"We are ready to sign; we have a pen and are ready to sign."

French officials have been close several times to getting their race back on the schedule for the first time since 2008, but it had appeared their hopes were dashed when the original 20-race calendar, which was published by the FIA at the end of last month, did not include a slot for them.

There have been separate pushes by both Magny-Cours and Paul Ricard for an event, but it appears the latter venue is now more likely to secure a deal if the race is put on.

Ecclestone said, however, there he was not sure yet which of the bids would be most successful.

"Which circuit they are going to use is another thing," he explained.

The French GP could be easily positioned in the calendar in the gap that has been opened up by the absence of the New Jersey race.

The Canadian GP takes place on June 9, with the British GP at Silverstone taking place on June 30.

Ecclestone added: "If they are ready we can slot it in the calendar."

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