French GP set to be axed

Magny-Cours venue to be removed from calendar after June event

Formula One president Bernie Ecclestone has announced that there will be no French GP in 2009 after making it clear that June's event will be Magny-Cours' last F1 race.

In May 2007 Ecclestone announced that F1 would be leaving Magny-Cours due to dwindling spectator numbers and poor facilities. "We should not have gone there in the first place," he said at the time.

However, a month later Ecclestone had a change of heart and stated that F1 would remain at the track for one last season with a June date set for the 2008 event.

After yet another re-think the F1 chief has now said that this year's race will definitely be Magny-Cours' last, which means France will not be hosting a round of the F1 Championship in 2009 - or until such a time as a new venue is decided on.

Paris plea

"We agreed that there would be a French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours in 2008 but not in 2009," the F1 boss told French daily L'Equipe.

"Prime Minister Francois Fillon told me we would then see if we could have a grand prix in Paris or just outside but that would not necessarily be for 2009, rather for 2010.

"In any case, 2008 will be the last time we continue like this."

He added: "I would really love a French Grand Prix in the streets of Paris."