French prime minister Francois Fillon has created a taskforce charged with resurrecting the French Grand Prix.
The group includes Paul Ricard circuit director Gerard Neveu, which suggests that the track that hosted the race 14 times between 1971 and 1990 is the most likely venue. As an active circuit, it could allow the French Grand Prix to return to the calendar as early as 2013 if a promoter were to be able to strike a deal for a world championship race.
Any such plan would be dependent on raising the required funding, which has been the stumbling block for many of the stillborn projects to revive the event over the past three years.
"It is true that I have put in place a team," Fillon is quoted as saying by French regional daily newspaper Var-Matin, adding that it has been created to "attempt to create a proposition that will allow the organisation of a new grand prix in France".
Fillon, who was born in Le Mans and who has participated in the circuit's classic race, confirmed that the taskforce included ex-cabinet minister Gilles Dufeigneaux, Renault team principal Eric Boullier and Neveu.
Magny-Cours dropped off the Formula 1 calendar after the 2008 race amid financial problems and has not been held since. The Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile (FFSA) had run the event from 2004 following the loss of its previous promoter, but seven-figure losses made it impossible to continue into 2009.
Numerous plans to bring back the race have been discussed since then involving a number of new venues, including a possible Disneyland-run race at the mooted Paris val d'Europe track as well as a potential return to Magny-Cours.
Following the struggles to bring back the race, Fillon confirmed that a scheme allowing the French GP to share a slot on the calendar with the Belgian GP is a possibility. This could solve the problem of France struggling to gain a position in a crowded F1 calendar, as well as helping to safeguard's Spa's F1 future.
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