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Ecclestone raises hopes of French GP return as soon as next year

Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone has raised the hopes for a return of the French Grand Prix to the schedule, possibly as soon as next year as a replacement for the canceled New Jersey event.

The French GP has been off the calendar since 2008, but officials of both the Magny Cours and Paul Ricard circuits are making bids for its return.

The New Jersey cancellation has left a three-week gap in the 2013 schedule, and on his 82nd birthday Sunday, Ecclestone told Autosport: "If they are ready we can slot it in the calendar."

He added: "We have a pen and are ready to sign. Which circuit they are going to use is another thing."

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