With no Formula One cars being driven on French soil for 4 years, the sport is returning to Magny-Cours with a Young Drivers Test next month. Ferrari, Mercedes and Force India conformed their participation at the circuit yesterday, with the test to be held September 11-13.
Cicuit de Nevers Magnys-Cours, to give it it’s full name, held F1 races for 18 years, between 1991 to 2008. Since it fell off the calender, it’s been used for other events such GT, touring car, and motorbike races.
In a statement, also released yesterday, Chairman of the Board Serge Saunier stated;
“I am thrilled to be able to confirm that Formula 1 cars will return to Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours next month. We have worked tirelessly to upgrade the venue, which has just been homologated to F1 standards for another four years, and I am certain that the teams and drivers will appreciate the work that has been put in.
“What’s more, this is an extremely positive step forward as we seek to return Formula 1 racing to our circuit. With Magny-Cours a candidate to host future French Grands Prix, it will be fantastic to showcase the track and our staff’s know-how to the high-calibre F1 personnel who will be on-site.”
The curious part is in the last statement – “Magny-Cours a candidate to host future French Grand Prix” – is the strange part. For us, the circuit is synonymous with motorsport in the that country, yet even the man who is in charge of the decision making doesn’t think they’ll get it.
Paul Ricard is an option. The last race held there was in 1990, but curiously is now under the control of Excelis, a company owned by a one Bernard Ecclestone. Since he acquired it, it’s gone from strength to strength and is a very viable candidate – but surely he can’t pay himself, right?