Ecclestone: Time running out for France

French officials have been told that they must move quickly if they are to have any hope of seeing their country regain a slot on the Formula 1 calendar

Ecclestone: Time running out for France

The French Grand Prix dropped off the schedule this year while attempts were made to find a new location for the race - and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says time is running out for the event to find a way back.

"That's all I want, but it seems to be hard to put things in place in France," said Ecclestone in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper.

"I've sent a contract to them and it hasn't been sent back. At the moment, I'm being told that we shouldn't hope for a circuit in or around Paris before 2013. I've also heard about possibly returning to Paul Ricard.

"It's a shame, because it's going to get harder to find a spot on the calendar. They need to act quickly because time is short."

Although the news on France's race does not appear too good, Ecclestone has said he is sure French car manufacturer Renault will remain in F1 despite the fallout from the race-fixing controversy.

"Yes, there's no doubt," he said. "I'm meeting the team's president this weekend. I don't understand all these rumours about the team leaving. They're completely unfounded."

Ecclestone has also said he hopes that a team will give French world rally star Sebastien Loeb a chance to race in F1 at some point, as he is doubtful about a deal being put in place to get him on the grid in Abu Dhabi.

"Unfortunately, I don't think it will happen," said Ecclestone. "However, I'd love for somebody to give him a chance. It would only be good for F1 if he came."

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