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No French GP until 2011 - F1 boss

Bernie Ecclestone
Ecclestone hopes to find a long-term venue for the French Grand Prix

The French Grand Prix will not be on the calendar until at least 2011, says Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.

Ecclestone said he wanted to be sure he finds the right venue for the event after plans to hold the race near Paris in 2010 were rejected last week.

EuroDisney and Lagardere Sports this week said the Ecclestone-backed project was not economically viable.

Next year's race at Magny-Cours has been dropped after organisers cancelled it for financial reasons.

Ecclestone said: "We want the right spot - the French GP has to be long-lasting."

France has an important historic status within motorsport as the first country to hold a Grand Prix, in 1906.

But the event's future has been plagued with uncertainty in recent years.

France has a contract for a race at Magny-Cours - near Nevers in rural central France - for two more years, but organisers have cancelled the 2010 race for financial reasons.

"I think it is quite sure (that there will be no race in 2010)," Ecclestone told French newspaper L'Equipe.

"We went to Magny-Cours for the wrong reasons, for political reasons," he added.

"Let's try and avoid a repeat. What we want is to find for sure the right spot because the French GP has to be long-lasting."

Ecclestone added that the withdrawal of the Euro Disney project had condemned France to being without a race for at least a year after 2009.

"I've always thought it was the right spot for us, that it was the new location that suited the French Grand Prix," he added.

BBC Sport
"We went to Magny-Cours for the wrong reasons, for political reasons, so let's try and avoid a repeat."

Two other possible venues are now being discussed for the race to return to the calendar.

They are Sarcelles, 17.5km from Paris and backed by former French Formula One driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise, and Flins, 43km from Paris.

"The first thing now is that I want to go there myself and see by myself how it looks like," said Ecclestone.

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see also
Magny-Cours to stay on calendar
22 Jun 08 |  Formula One
Formula One to quit Magny-Cours
12 May 08 |  Formula One
Canadian GP stays off F1 calendar
16 Nov 08 |  Formula One
China considers ditching F1 race
14 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Magny-Cours, France
29 Jun 07 |  Circuit Guide

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Sporting Life NO IMMINENT RETURN FOR FRENCH GP - 23 Nov 2008