France and Belgium yet to agree grand prix fees

Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) CEO Formula One Group (FOM). Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday 24 November 2011.

Bernie Ecclestone

Mar.2 (GMM) F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is leading the negotiations as France tries to return to the F1 calendar.

The country’s government is pushing hard to include Paul Ricard on the 2013 calendar, with a deal to alternate on an annual basis a single race date with Belgium’s Spa Francorchamps.

RMC Sport reports that Paris has formally requested Ecclestone to send them the contract.

But the report said that a crucial detail is missing – the necessary race fee.

As those negotiations begin, it is revealed that Eric Boullier – the Lotus team’s French team principal – met with Ecclestone in London on Wednesday to talk about it.

Boullier had tried to “speed things up”, the French language report said.

RMC added that Spa-Francorchamps’ Belgian promoters currently spend EUR 22.5 million per race on the grand prix, a figure neither they nor France are willing to pay in 2013 and beyond.

“Both have set a maximum of EUR 15 million per race,” said the report.

The responsible Belgian minister, Jean-Claude Marcourt, declined to comment.

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