Formula 1 to return to France after 10-year absence

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

London [UK], Dec. 6 (ANI): After an absence of 10 years, the French Grand Prix will return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2018. A local politician Christian Estrosi yesterday said the race will be held in the south of France at the Circuit Paul Ricard, which last staged the event in 1990. "We and those who are with me are very proud . it's a great victory," Guardian quoted Estrosi as saying. France hosted the first ever recognised Grand Prix near Le Mans in 1906. The French Grand Prix was last held at Magny-Cours in central France in 2008. Meanwhile, McLaren have insisted Fernando Alonso is under contract and will not be leaving to join Mercedes any time soon. Rumours are swirling around a potential replacement for Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, with Alonso one of the names frequently being bandied about. "We have a contract with Fernando and he's very happy," team's new executive director Zak Brown said. "Obviously, he wants to be winning races, as do we, but I am not worried about that scenario [him leaving]. We are very comfortable where we are at." Alonso, a double world champion with Renault, joined McLaren from Ferrari at the end of 2014 and has been disappointed by their lack of success. McLaren have not won a race since 2012 and have under-performed since the start of their new partnership with Honda in 2015, finishing sixth overall this year and ninth out of 10 teams in 2015. Five days after winning the Formula 1 title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Rosberg shocked the motorsport fraternity bidding adieu to the sport. (ANI)