French GP canceled when FFSA withdraws backing

PARIS -- The 2009 French Grand Prix was canceled Wednesday when the cash-strapped French Motorsport Federation withdraw its backing of the Formula One race.

FFSA's board of directors said it didn't want to risk a financial loss by holding the race next year but will try the resurrect the world's oldest grand prix in 2010.

"For reasons linked to the economic situation, the FFSA have decided to cancel the French Grand Prix, scheduled in the FIA Formula One Championship for June 26, 27, 28, 2009," the FFSA said in a statement on the French GP Web site www.gpfrancef1.com.

"The FFSA would like to apologize to everyone for the inconvenience," the statement said.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone declared in May that this year's French GP would be the last to be run at the remote and unpopular Magny-Cours circuit, but the event was retained in the 2009 F1 calendar released last week. With the Canadian Grand Prix dropped, that left only 17 races on next year's schedule.

The FFSA said it had already received six bids for the race in 2010, including at a redeveloped Magny-Cours and a site outside Disneyland Paris.