No French GP in 2008

UPDATE (GMM) French grand prix promoter, the FFSA, confirmed on Thursday that the race will not take place in 2008. A statement explained that the decision was made last Wednesday because "all the conditions necessary for success were not met."

"The FFSA Committee will re-examine the situation during its next meeting in July 2007," the statement said. This July's event at Magny Cours will take place on July 1.

03/29/07 (GMM) Hot on the heels of reports that Bernie Ecclestone is keen to take the French grand prix to Paris, it is being reported that Magny Cours will not stage the race as usual in 2008.

The sports daily L'Equipe said on Thursday that logistical problems meant that France would be absent from the schedule next year.

The news was not officially confirmed, but it would be the first time since 1955 that the country did not host a formula one race.

Ecclestone was recently critical of Magny Cours, which is one of the least popular destinations among F1's traveling regulars due to its isolated location and lack of accommodation.

In the magazine Autohebdo, F1 supremo Ecclestone accused the government of doing "nothing" to help Magny Cours.

"For two years the autoroute has been stopped six miles from the circuit and they say that it could be another four or five years before the last bit is finished," he added.

L'Equipe said France was likely to return to the calendar in 2009, but probably elsewhere in the country. Ecclestone owns the state of the art test circuit Paul Ricard, located near Marseille. [Editor's Note: Bernie Ecclestone is in favor of a race in Paris or just outside of Paris – see this rumor.].

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