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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Macron backs push for return of French GP

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The French GP returned to Circuit Paul Ricard in 2018 after an extended absence, however its contract was not renewed after the 2022 occasion, and it fell off this 12 months’s schedule.

Even earlier than Ricard’s demise was confirmed a road occasion in Good had emerged as a potential substitute, though some observers thought that F1’s interest was also related to its ongoing negotiations with Monaco over a new contract, a state of affairs that has now been resolved.

In response to the newspaper Good-Matin, Good mayor Christian Estrosi just lately wrote to Macron asking for his assist and stressing the significance of the French GP.

He responded favourably and gave Estrosi and FFSA president Nicolas Deschaux the accountability of coping with F1/Liberty Media and launching a feasibility examine for the return of the race, whereas not committing to a specific venue. Each males have been beforehand concerned in getting the occasion to Paul Ricard.

Macron wrote: “Make sure that I absolutely share your ambition. Certainly, as you level out, our nation should be in a position, like the opposite main worldwide sporting occasions it organises yearly, to reconnect with F1, for the pleasure of all.

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“It is a matter of attractiveness for our nation, the affect of our automotive business and innovation to assist the decarbonisation of this sector.”

He added: “As such, it is possible for you to to check the completely different potential location choices [in France], figuring out for every their financial mannequin, their compatibility with our ecological commitments and their potential contribution to regional and nationwide improvement.

A mixture of French and Dutch flags are waved on the finish of the race as Max Verstappen, Crimson Bull Racing RB18, 1st place, takes victory

Picture by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

“On this context, you’ll give attention to partaking in discussions with the holders of the rights to F1.”

Estrosi’s Good connections make it an apparent candidate, and it stays to be seen which different cities are given critical consideration.

Macron’s backing is critical, as present Paul Ricard boss Jean Alesi believes that the venue’s disappearance from the calendar was hastened by a scarcity of political assist.

“The issue with F1 in France isn’t with the circuit, it’s with the politics,” he advised Motorsport.com. 

“It’s in all probability the one F1 Grand Prix that’s by no means had a president come to observe it – apart from at Magny-Cours as soon as, when [Francois] Mitterrand attended as a part of his political want for the race to be there.

“Since then, it’s by no means occurred. The issue isn’t with the circuit; the issue is the want of the nation. My different job is a F1 Ambassador, so my hyperlink to F1 is direct – with no bullshit – and they’re very clear about that.”

An F1 supply famous that the organisation is open to discussions with Macron’s group to run the race in “an iconic French location.”

Daniel Ricciardo demonstration on the streets of Nice, France

Daniel Ricciardo demonstration on the streets of Good, France

In the meantime in a associated story on Wednesday the Good Cote d’Azur metropolitan authorities agreed to pay €5m to assist the Public Curiosity Group of the French GP organisation repay a €27m debt that it had accrued from the Paul Ricard occasions.

The transfer was not with out controversy, particularly because it got here earlier than the supply of an audit into the actions of the organisation, which is due on the finish of the month.

“There isn’t any query of paying an advance of 5 million when there are potential irregularities,” EELV [ecology] MP Fabrice Decoupigny advised Good-Matin.

“You do not vote with out understanding. They put the knife to our throat, whereas on the identical time, Christian Estrosi will increase the tram ticket by 70% and stops subsidies for electromobility.”

One native mayor mentioned: “I requested for the record of collectors, I received nothing. After which, an advance implies that we may give greater than 5 million. That is monumental in view of the efforts we’re asking of our fellow residents whose taxes have already elevated.”

The row seems unlikely to assist any future efforts to commit public funds to a road race mission in Good.


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