Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has agreed to keep the French Grand Prix on the calendar next year at Magny-Cours, a spokesman for French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said on Tuesday.
The spokesman said Ecclestone and Fillon had met on Tuesday.
"He (Ecclestone) agreed in principle to maintain the race at Magny-Cours in 2008, and even 2009, if there were no other alternative," he said.
The Magny-Cours circuit near Nevers in the heart of rural France has suffered from weak attendances due in part to poor access, insufficient accommodation and the lack of French drivers and sponsors.
Ecclestone said this year he would prefer a venue nearer to Paris and added: "There is no future for Magny-Cours, 2007 will be the last race at this circuit."
The French federation (FFSA) said in a statement published last Friday they were determined to organise the race until the expiry of a contract with Ecclestone in 2011.
They added that the entry for next year's French Grand Prix would be confirmed for Magny-Cours if local and regional authorities provided more money to the federation to help the event break even until they find a new venue for future years.