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French Grand Prix to stay on F1 calendar

June 25, 2008 18:40 IST
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The French Motor Sports Federation (FFSA) confirmed on Wednesday that the country's troubled Formula One Grand Prix would remain on next year's calendar.

"I've anticipated the decision of the FFSA General Assembly by confirming the entry of the French Grand Prix on the 2009 FIA Formula One world championship calendar," FFSA president Nicolas Deschaux said in a statement.

"Of course the [FFSA] general assembly, which will meet tomorrow, Thursday, will have to confirm this decision and also determine the future of the French Grand Prix from 2010 onwards."

The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) was due to publish the draft 2009 calendar later on Wednesday after a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said at the French Grand Prix last weekend that the race was likely to stay at Magny-Cours after previously stating that it would be axed.

The FFSA has a contract to run the race until 2011 but Ecclestone is eager to move it from the rural circuit to a track closer to Paris.

"We've got a contract here for another couple of years," he said on Sunday.

"Although the FFSA, who are the promoters, agreed two years ago that 2008 would be the last race, now they are saying 2009 will be the last race but I'm sure it's not."

Disneyland Paris is a favoured option for the future, with plenty of hotel rooms and easy rail access from Paris and the rest of Europe.

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