Since it was dumped from the F1 calendar after the 2008 event, the absence of the Magny Cours circuit has meant that France – one of the traditional heartlands of global motorsport – has remained without a Grand Prix.
Attempts to revive the French Grand Prix at an alternative site – a street race in Paris has been mooted for several years – have so far failed.
However, plans look set to change, with the recently taken over venue working fervently to have its place on the F1 calendar reinstated.
The circuit, situated in the remote region of Nevers, has been criticised for its difficult-to-access location and its inability to produce a particularly good race (with the exception of the rain-hit 1999 race, pictured, we would contend).
The circuit’s chairman, Serge Saulnier, has told France’s Auto Hebdo that travellers will soon be “able to come from Paris without interruption to the door of the circuit”, as a result of recent infrastructure improvements in the region.
Saulnier assumed chairmanship of the circuit earlier this year, having run a host of racing teams since the 1980s, including working as the head of Peugeot Sport.
“If France is reinstated on the calendar in the near future, it could only be at Magny Cours,” he added.
“The key to F1’s return to France is the promotion. It is necessary to renegotiate the price to a reasonable level. We know that the state or the local authorities are not going to put in five or six million Euros for the loss.”
Citing the example of the return of the Canadian Grand Prix to the calendar – rumoured to be at a substantially discounted fee being paid to Formula One Management – Saulnier argued that the fee must be negotiated “on a reasonable basis.”
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[Original image via The Cahier Archive]