F1: French Grand Prix to return in 2018 after 10-year hiatus

Baku, December 6, AZERTAC

The French Grand Prix, one of the seven races to feature in the inaugural Formula One season in 1950, is set to return to the 2018 calendar after a 10-year absence, according to CNN.

A five-year deal, which will see F1 return to the Paul Ricard circuit, near Marseille in the south of France, was announced by Christian Estrosi, president of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Monday.

Speaking at a press conference in Paris, Estrosi hailed the return as an important driver of "economic development and tourism" to the region, adding that the race will be held "in the summer of 2018."

Estrosi said that an independent audit by consultants, Deloitte had estimated the cost of hosting the race to be €30 million ($32 million), AFP reported.

The last French Grand Prix was staged at Magny-Cours in 2008 with recently retired Felipe Massa taking the checkered flag.

The Paul Ricard circuit, also known as Le Castellet, last held an F1 race back in 1990.

French F1 driver, Romain Grosjean said he was "super happy for French fans." The 30-year-old, who raced for the US team Haas F1 in 2016 also posted a video message on his official Twitter account.

The French Grand Prix was first staged in Reims in 1950, with Paul Ricard hosting 14 F1 races between 1971 and 1990 before Magny Cours became the preferred circuit.

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