Date: 26th April 2012 at 9:41am
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As far as Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is concerned a deal for the French Grand Prix to return to the Formula One calendar has been done.

Formula One has looked set to return to France for some time now, but the circuit it returned to appeared to be open to debate with Magny-Cours and Paul Ricard both battling to agree a deal with F1.

The French prime minister Francois Fillon had declared that a French Grand Prix at the Paul Ricard circuit would be supported by the French government.

But with France holding presidential elections between Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande, there had been rumours that if a new president took power, they might support Magny-Cours bid and former F1 team boss Guy Ligier had been holding talks with Bernie over that possibility.

He believed that Bernie wouldn’t sign an agreement until the outcome of the presidential election was known, however Ecclestone is never an easy person to predict and it would appear a deal has been struck.

‘The deal is done, We actually agreed on financial terms with the sports minister, David Douillet, in my office last Tuesday.

‘We are still discussing a few points about money around the race, ‘You give me this, I want that’ and so on. But, for me, there is no doubt that we will sort it all out.’
Ecclestone told France’s L’Equipe.

Some people in the media might have speculated that Paul Ricard was always the favourite to host the race as since 1999 the track has been owned by Excelis, a company owned by Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone. But of course that is just pure speculation…….

The deal is believed to be for the 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021 seasons and it’s been well publicised that the Grand Prix will be alternating between France and another circuit, which is likely to be Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. But as yet no deals have been struck.