Paul Ricard considering French GP bid

Paul Ricard circuit boss Gerard Neveu has revealed the track is considering entering a bid to host the French Formula 1 Grand Prix in the future

Paul Ricard considering French GP bid

The race is absent from this year's calendar after the French federation said it would not promote the event at the Magny-Cours circuit due to financial difficulties.

Since then, France has been looking for a new home for the race, with authorities believed to have the new Flins-Les Mureaux track as their preferred option.

Paul Ricard, a popular venue for Formula 1 testing, had not expressed an interest in hosting the grand prix before, but Neveu has admitted it is now a real possibility.

"We have decided to think seriously about what needs to be done to welcome a Formula 1 grand prix," said Neveu on Friday. "But this full consideration has just started a few days ago.

"Every time the French Grand Prix has had problems, people, media, drivers have asked: why not at the Paul Ricard circuit? Up to now, we did not want, nor had a good reason to realise such a race.

"Nevertheless, our circuit does have the Degree 1 FIA track homologation, which allows us, technically speaking, to welcome a F1 GP.

"Furthermore, we have re-opened the Paul Ricard circuit to visitors this year, and the public did a very warm welcome to this initiative, this also gives us the right to think, it could be an idea."

The French track had no grandstands before last year, but since they were built Neveu has been encouraged by the fans' response.

He added: "Since last year and after the suspension of Grand Prix de France, many different projects of new circuits in France came out. At this time we had no legitimacy to think we should apply. During last winter 2008/2009, we built grandstands on our circuit, and re-opened this mythical place to visitors.

"During the first events this year, the new grandstands were full, and it was a great success. This also made us think about the evolution of racing on our track.

"Projects of new circuits in France seem to have encountered some difficulties. As of today, thanks to the great success we had, as well for competitors and for visitors, and after the numerous solicitations here and there, it became right for us to think our circuit could be a solution.

"Therefore we started to think on what we would need to do, to welcome a GP. Nevertheless, we have pointed out that there are five major points, for which we need to have answers, in order to apply and have a true legitimacy."

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