Bernie Ecclestone says next season's F1 calendar could increase to 20 races once again

Commercial rights boss ready to sign French GP deal

By Mike Wise in New Delhi.   Last Updated: 05/12/12 3:53pm

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Bernie Ecclestone: Says he's ready to sign French GP deal

Bernie Ecclestone: Says he's ready to sign French GP deal

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Next season's Formula 1 calendar could increase to 20 races once again, according to Bernie Ecclestone.

At an event to mark Ecclestone's 82nd birthday in the paddock at the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday morning, he expressed the hope that the French Grand Prix could return after an absence of five seasons.

"As far as I'm concerned, yes," replied Ecclestone, when asked whether the race could replace the New Jersey Grand Prix, which has been postponed for a year because of construction delays.

"We're ready to sign. We've got a pen and we're ready to sign."

Ecclestone admitted, however, that there was still uncertainty surrounding the venue.

Magny-Cours, which hosted the race between 1991 and 2008, is in the running alongside the Paul Ricard circuit, where it was previously run.

The latter track, which is owned by Ecclestone, had been scheduled to go on the 2013 calendar after a deal was agreed with the government of Nicolas Sarkozy earlier this year.

However, it was scuppered when Sarkozy lost the country's Presidential election to socialist candidate Francois Hollande in May.

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