Jun.19 (GMM) France's new sports minister sounds keen to see the country return to the F1 calendar.

We have to admit that we would like to have a Formula One Grand Prix.

Valerie Fourneyron

The previous administration, led by ex president Nicolas Sarcozy, pushed hard to line up Paul Ricard as the venue for a French Grand Prix in 2013, thereafter alternating annually with Belgium's Spa Francorchamps.

But Sarcozy lost office just before the final contracts could be signed and sealed, and new president Francois Hollande and his sports deputy Valerie Fourneyron quickly put the brakes on the deal's momentum.

Fourneyron did, however, recently meet with a Paul Ricard delegation, as well as representatives of the Nievre region, who would like to see the French Grand Prix return to the scene of the last race in 2008, at Magny Cours.

A source close to the governing Conseil General de la Nievre indicated that a meeting next Monday could see a decision made to instigate a public interest group for the revival of Magny Cours' Formula One race.

"When you see what Romain Grosjean is doing and the popularity of the races, we have to admit that we would like to have a Formula One Grand Prix," minister Fourneyron is quoted by RMC Sport.