This news has since been confirmed as true by the FFSA.
Pitpass have reported that the French Grand Prix may have been dropped from the 2008 Formula One calendar, following reports made in L’Equipe. Apparently, the FIA have stated that the event cannot take place in current conditions and logistical problems are preventing Mangy Cours from hosting the race. It was recently mooted that Britain and France could share a slot on the racing calendar, which is something Magny Cours seemed keen on. However, BRDC President (the organisation that still owns Silverstone) Damon Hill said that this solution would be a last resort.
As Singapore is expected to announce an agreement to host a round of the Formula One championship as early as 2008, it seems Bernie Ecclestone is slowly moving F1 away from Europe and into new and growing countries. While this may prove effective at lining the deep pockets of the sport’s controlling people, the lack of traditional circuits like Imola, Silverstone, Suzuka and even Spa may be the straw – for many older fans – that breaks the camel’s back.
It is good that Formula One travels to further afield places and is introduced to as wider audience as possible. But I feel this should not come at the price of losing some of the sports great circuits that have thrilled drivers and fans alike for so many years. Personally, I’m still a little bitter that Suzuka is missing from this years calendar, and although the re-introduction of Spa Francorchamp in welcomed, I would not want to lose these great tracks that make the sport what it is. Formula One is hi-tech, forever moving forward and pushing boundaries in terms of technology and driver fitness. But it is also rich in heritage and tradition, and these values should not be lost. Leaving the great tracks behind may just cause that.
Do you think Formula One should move away from it’s historical home of Europe, or should the travelling circus be encouraged to race at these new and glamorous locations?
Of course, if I had my way, I would have my cake and eat it. There would be a race every other weekend for 50 weeks of the year. They would race on every continent (bar Antarctica, maybe) and the old would be mixed in with the new. Have your say in the comments below…