Bernie Ecclestone insists that formula one will not be returning to Magny Cours after this year's race. The F1 chief executive told Germany's SID news agency that he is busily trying to arrange for an event in Paris so that there can be a French grand prix in 2008. "I hope we can put something together," he said. "We need a place for the French grand prix because we are not going back to Magny Cours.

"The government understands this," Ecclestone said.

Ecclestone actually dropped Magny Cours for the 2008 calendar, but agreed to reinstate the race because a viable alternative had not yet been arranged.

He would also like to add London to a future calendar numbering twenty grands prix, but admitted that a race in the British capital is not likely.

What is likely, however, is that the 77-year-old Briton will still be a permanent fixture in the formula one paddocks for some time to come.

"I would not do this job if I did not enjoy it," the billionaire said. "I don't do it because I need to.

"I only plan for when it would be the time to stop; perhaps in 30 years or so," Bernie added.