Formula One: French Grand Prix returns in 2018

Paris—The French Grand Prix is returning to the Formula One calendar in 2018 after a decade-long absence at Le Castellet’s Paul Ricard circuit near Marseille, organisers announced on Monday.
“The French Grand Prix is making its comeback,” Christian Estrosi, president of the Provence-Alpes-Cotes d’Azur region told a press conference in Paris.
Estrosi made the announcement at the Automobile Club de France which helped stage the first ever grand prix in 1906.
Felipe Massa in a Ferrari won the last F1 race staged in France in 2008 at Magny-Cours, when a major budget deficit was shouldered by the French state and local authorities.
The Paul Ricard venue has held 14 F1 races in all between 1971 and 1990 when French four-time champion Alain Prost was victorious.
The circuit has received 80 million euros ($85.6mn) worth of investment since 2002 to bring it up to scratch.
“It’s a venue that is both recognised and appreciated,” Estrosi declared.
He said the cost of staging the race had been estimated in an independent audit at 30 million euros – 14mn coming from local authorities and the balance from direct revenue.
“And the impact on the local economy will be 65mn euros,” he added, quoting figures from an audit into the project conducted by international consultants Deloitte.—AFP

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