The President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron has entrusted Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice, with the mission of working with the President of the French Motorsport Federation on the return of a Formula 1 Grand Prix to France, absent from the calendar in 2023 and 2024.
Formula 1 unveiled its calendar for the 2024 season last week, and unsurprisingly, France is not part of the program. This is also the case for 2023, when the Grand Prix de France had nevertheless made its return, at Le Castellet, between 2018 and 2022 after ten absences. This absence speaks to the highest summit of the State, where Emmanuel Macron has decided to do everything possible to ensure that France finds a race in the sport-king of motor racing, even if it is not necessarily at full-time, but on a work-study basis.
L’AFP reveals this Tuesday that the President of the Republic wrote a letter, on June 16, to the mayor of Nice and former motorcycle racer Christian Estrosi to work on a return to the Grand Prix de France alongside the president of the French Motorsport Federation Nicolas Deschaux. “Our country must be able… to reconnect with Formula 1, for the pleasure of all. It is a challenge of attractiveness for our country, of the influence of our automotive industry and of innovation to support the decarbonization of the sector”, writes Emmanuel Macron. The conclusions of the mission should be presented “at the end of September, so that the government and the local authorities concerned can take decisions to support such a project on an informed basis”.
A Grand Prix around the Allianz Riviera?
If it is Christian Estrosi who finds himself in the front line, it is because the Nice project seems to date the most credible to succeed Le Castellet (Var). The city of the Alpes-Maritimes could be the scene of a Grand Prix on the same model as that of Miami, around the Allianz Riviera, revealed the newspaper The team early June. Spectators could stay in the many hotels on the Côte d’Azur and go to the circuit by public transport, which would satisfy the promoter, looking for Grands Prix where the environment is taken into account.
“We respect everything France has done for our sport. You have great drivers, you have a team, you have a large audience. Just come see us to talk. (…) The day when President Macron tells me that he wants to discuss to talk about the return of France, I come, ”assured the boss of F1 Stefano Domenicali in May. It seems that the message has been heard.