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French GP 'in negotiations' for reduced F1 race fee

French GP 'in negotiations' for reduced F1 race fee
© Reuters
Paul Ricard is in talks with Formula 1 about reducing the French GP hosting fee.

Paul Ricard is in talks with Formula 1 about reducing the French GP hosting fee.

Le Figaro newspaper reports that the circuit at Le Castellet will be limited to just 15,000 fans per day for its scheduled late June event.

"We are fighting for the right to host the grand prix, which is something we can control. This is better than fighting an invisible virus," said race boss Eric Boullier.

"If the attendance is limited to 15,000 spectators per day, we will receive only 20 percent of the income. We have the opportunity to cover all the costs of organising the race, but we will continue to discuss the size of the fee," the Frenchman and former McLaren boss added.

"We are in commercial negotiations. Hopefully common sense will prevail," Boullier added.

"We need to minimise our losses but still give the audience a great show. We have been pleasantly surprised by the demand for tickets despite the uncertain situation. Almost all of the tickets have been sold," he revealed.

Boullier said Paul Ricard also wants to extend its contract with Formula 1.

"The contract expires at the end of the year, but we want to renew it," he said. "If everything depended only on me, I would have already signed a new one for 10 years, but I need to report to the management."

One rumour is that F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali will keep the calendar at 23 races for 2022 by ousting one European event to make way for the new Miami GP.

"The attractiveness of the new grand prix can be somewhat exaggerated," said Boullier.

"We have seen situations when, after a big announcement about a new grand prix, the race never takes place. The question is whether Liberty Media wants reliable grands prix with historical value and ties to the history of Formula 1 to remain on the calendar," he said.

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