Promoter ’not resigned’ to French GP axe
"We are in the middle of a discussion"
French GP promoter Christian Estrosi insists he is "not resigned" to seeing the race drop off the Formula 1 calendar for 2023.
Although the French GP boss and mayor of Nice dismissed suggestions the city he manages could rescue the event, he thinks the record crowd at Paul Ricard will give the sport pause to reflect.
"It’s the end of a contract in which France had to show its know-how in organisation," Estrosi told BFM Var.
"200,000 people filled the circuit between Friday and Sunday which is an absolute record," he added.
However, almost no one in the paddock expects that Paul Ricard will not be a victim of Liberty Media’s push into new markets like Las Vegas and South Africa.
"We are in the middle of a discussion," Estrosi insists. "No, I am not resigned.
"I saw our country regain its Grand Prix de France - this magnificent, popular sporting event. I am convinced that in the coming weeks, we will have extremely positive things to announce for the future of our grand prix."
Estrosi says he has been in regular contact not only with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, but also Emmanuel Macron, the current president of France.
"It would be good if the head of state says through his government that as France we want Formula 1 - we want to keep one of the most popular sporting disciplines in our country," he insisted.
"The president confirmed that to me, now I will see in what conditions that will be. For five years it has been the community alone carrying it on our shoulders."
Nice-Matin reports that, after a meeting at the weekend with Estrosi, Domenicali said the talks about France’s future in F1 had been "very positive and constructive".