2009 French Grand Prix cancelled

F1 will not race at Magny-Cours in 2009

F1 will not race at Magny-Cours in 2009

The French Grand Prix has been cancelled for 2009 in a surprise move by the event organisers, the Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile. The FFSA issued the following statement:

After examining the economic situation, the FFSA renounces to be the financial promoters of a Formula One Grand Prix. As a result, and as long as a promoter capable of succeeding the FFSA has not been identified, the French Grand Prix will not be able to feature on the FIA international calendar in 2009.

The news comes just eight days after the Canadian Grand Prix was dropped from the 2009 F1 schedule with no warning.

The 2009 F1 calendar, which originally had 19 events on it, is now reduced to 17.

France has held a round of the F1 world championship every year since the series began in 1950, except in 1955, when it was cancelled following the Le Mans disaster. The first Grand Prix was held in France in 1906.

Bernie Ecclestone threatened to cancel the French Grand Prix this year and reinstated it. He did the same with the 2009 race as well, and it is public knowledge that he is looking for alternative hosts for the race. At least four potential venues have been rumoured.

Is the Magny-Cours round F1’s first victim of the credit crunch? Or is this an inevitable consequence of Bernie Ecclestone pushing race fees ever higher?

2009 F1 season
2009 F1 calendar

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33 comments on 2009 French Grand Prix cancelled

  1. sven duva said on 16th October 2008, 8:24

    The Canadian organizers has stated that there will be no race in Montreal next year no matter what. The decision has been taken, and that’s it.

    It’s weird if they gonna have another 3 week gap in the calendar during the summer. It’s bad for the sport. If this is indeed the crown jewel of motorsport, then organizers should be lining up to get it. But I’m not sure were to put it with only 8 months notice. One solution is to have both Hockenheim and Nurburgring next year. Or maybe have a race in Jerez or – Algarve… :)

  2. Michiel said on 16th October 2008, 9:26

    @sven duva,

    the algarve sounds fine. on the new circuit. then we hava finally a new circuit who isn’t designed by herman Tilke:D

  3. I shan’t miss Magny Cours by any stretch of the imagination. But I shall miss a French GP.

  4. With the French GP being cancelled I think and hope that means the Canadian GP will be brought back now… fingers crossed.

  5. I think It’s that leettle weasall berneee wanting to squeezeout every last frank from zi Franch, and zi franch federation will nout allouw iit.

    that’s a little more chance for portugal i guess

  6. Derek Smith said on 16th October 2008, 14:52

    Not the greatest of losses imo, and maybe this will bring back the Canadian GP which is a great track

  7. I was just reading about the algarve circuit and at short notice it would seem to be a great addition to the grand prix circuit – has anyone thought of the french and germans clubbing together to jointly run one of the 2 german grand prix’s – I know they were enemies once – but it might work out?

  8. Trip Hazard said on 16th October 2008, 18:16

    It’s all gone a bit bonjour

  9. Certainly not the greatest of tracks to watch your Formula 1.Now i hope Canada returns.I dont see Portugal
    hosting a F1 GP till 2010.

  10. beneboy said on 16th October 2008, 19:10

    Won’t miss the track but it’s a shame if there’s to be no French GP from 2009.

    Looks like Bernie’s dream is becoming a reality, give it a few years & we’ll be down to Monaco, Valencia & Hungary as the only European GP’s on the calender freeing up lots of space for Mr Tilke’s Asian & Middle Eastern tracks.

  11. Beneboy, you are correct I believe in your direction, but don’t forget Barcelona- as long as Fernando is racing and Bernie is running the commercial side, Spain will always have two grands prix on the schedule. And Barcelona is probably one of Bernie’s favorite tracks for a number of reasons….

    – It always sells out with a partisan crowd in support of their hero
    -It is a track where qualifying pace is the key to victory, meaning the powerhouse teams have an advantage and a win for the front-running teams is almost assured.
    – There is little chance of rain messing up qualifying or race day, meaning the fastest cars (normally from the top teams) are alomost assured of locking out the podium- no chance of Rubens and his Honda guys “pulling a Silverstone” and getitng the spotlight here!!

    On a final note here, I really hope the French GP comes back- it has an important place in F1 history and taking it away just makes the eastward shift all the more relavent. And lastly, I am sure this will come off as corny, but I did enjoy the unique blue and green color scheme of the tire barriers in the background of most Magny-Cours footage, so perhaps ther eis something good about the place.

  12. Oliver said on 16th October 2008, 20:59

    A strong democracy, can’t really come out to fund a grandprix for some rich boys to come play with their toys. Gate takings alone are not enough to fund a race track especially with Bernie getting greedier everyday. I doubt many of the Venues or even any, run at a profit.
    FOM, Bambino, CVC or whatever they are called will have to become more reasonable. Countries will have to weigh the relevance of spending hundreds of millions on tracks when they have social issues to take care of.

  13. Michael Ignov said on 16th October 2008, 22:11

    I don’t think I’d be shocked if 15 out of all races would be held in UAE, and East Asia, 2 for Singapore :)

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