September date set for 2013 French GP

French flag. Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, French Grand Prix, Preparations, Magny-Cours, France, Thursday 19 June 2008.Jan.6 (GMM) France’s return to the Formula 1 calendar is now so close to confirmation that even a provisional race date has been penciled in to the 2013 calendar.

It emerged just before Christmas that, with the historic French grand prix having been last held at Magny Cours in 2008, the country’s return to the calendar is likely to take place at Paul Ricard in 2013.

The Nice-Matin newspaper had said the Bernie Ecclestone-linked circuit will thereafter alternate a single annual calendar slot with Belgium’s fabled Spa-Francorchamps.

The news follows last year’s establishment of a French grand prix working body by French prime minister Francois Fillon.

“The case is currently on Fillon’s desk,” said a report in the Paris daily Le Figaro.

“He has only to give the green light to sport minister David Douillet and to Nicolas Deschaux, the president of the federation francaise de sport automobile (FFSA).

“The (first) race would be held on 1 September 2013”, Le Figaro revealed, adding that the spectator capacity of the circuit will be lifted to 50,000.