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French Grand Prix contract on the table reveals Ecclestone

NEWS STORY
07/03/2014

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he has offered a contract to organisers of a Grand Prix in France at Magny Cours according to an article in American magazine Racer written by Caroline Reid.

However, Ecclestone added that he requires evidence of long-term financial commitment before giving the organisers the green light.

"We have got a contract on the table with France for a race at Magny Cours," he says. "To meet the terms of our contract the organisers will need money and we will want some kind of guarantee that it's not going to be a one-night stand. It was going to take place this year actually."

The last Grand Prix was held at Magny Cours in 2008 but was dropped after organisers failed to secure enough finance to foot the estimated $17.3m annual hosting fee. Since then, replacement races have been proposed on sites including the streets of Paris and around Disneyland Paris. It isn't the only race which could be making a comeback.

Over the past few days reports have emerged that the Indian Grand Prix will not be on the calendar in 2015. So what will take its place? One possibility is the much-rumoured race in Baku but another, which is perhaps even more likely, is the Mexican Grand Prix. There is a good reason why it is more likely that the race will go ahead. Whilst it is unclear if the contract for a Grand Prix in Baku has been signed, Ecclestone says "Mexico is signed for 2015."

As Pitpass revealed way back in February last year, the Grand Prix will be held at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City which last hosted an F1 race in 1992.

It is hardly surprising that the plan has come this far given that it has the backing of an all-star management team which is led by two key figures.

The first is Tavo Hellmund the creator and mastermind of the F1 USGP and the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. His counterpart in Mexico is Alejandro Soberon, chief executive of the world's third largest live entertainment company CIE. The team members include Carlos Slim Domit who sits on the FIA's decision-making body the Senate and is son of the world's richest man Carlos Slim, George Gonzalez - the chief executive of CIE subsidiary Ocesa, and Federico Alaman, president of motorsports for Ocesa.

Their counterparts in New Jersey are not so fortunate. Its Grand Prix of America is due to be held next year on 3.2-miles of public roads in Port Imperial, a district in the New Jersey towns of West New York and Weehawken. Part of the course snakes alongside the Hudson river and has the striking background of the Manhattan skyline.

However, the race has been beset with problems since it was announced in 2011 and Pitpass has led the way in revealing most of them.

It has been dropped from the provisional F1 calendar twice, has had multiple management changes and, as we revealed in January it has breached its contract according to Ecclestone. As we also revealed in July last year, the organisers have engaged investment bank UBS to raise $100m needed to complete work on the track. The F1 Group itself provided a loan of $10m and this gives Ecclestone a good insight into the organisers' finances.

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1. Posted by GoodPublicity, 08/03/2014 4:29

"If Bernie Ecclestone's quote describing the Russian President as a "good ballsy guy." is accurate, then it's yet more evidence of his unsuitability as F1's corporate representative.

The nursing home beckons."

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2. Posted by jo6pac, 07/03/2014 14:42

"There are talks going on in Long Beach, Calif. also."

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