The French Grand Prix is set to make a sensational return to the Formula One calendar in 2018, with the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet, near Marseille, France, expected to make an announcement on Monday confirming the races' return some eight years after being dropped from the Grand Prix schedule. Last hosting a Formula One Grand Prix back in 1990, a race won by home favourite and Ferrari driver Alain Prost, the Circuit Paul Ricard has undergone quite a transformation in recent years. Now under the control of Excelis, a company owned by Formula One promoter Bernie Ecclestone, the circuit Paul Ricard is a high tech racing facility boasting some of the most advanced technology on and off track anywhere in the world. With built in sprinkler systems allowing the circuit to simulate full wet conditions and a unique runoff areas around the circuit made of asphalt and tungsten rather than the more traditional gravel traps. This expansive use of modern safety runoff gives Paul Ricard a unique look against more traditional circuits favoured by the current Formula One calendar. Paul Ricard is indeed an historic track worthy of a return to the Formula One schedule, and the announcement on Monday will mark a favourable return to one of the most important European Grand Prix in Formula One. The French Grand Prix has a long standing history in Formula One racing as one of the oldest motor races in the world. The event sadly left the Formula One calendar shortly after its centenary year at the end of the 2008 season, having run 86 races across a number of venues, latterly at the highly underrated Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. 2009 would see the race drop from the Formula One calendar due to a lack of local finances and the disadvantageous position of the circuit, having little in the way of infrastructure or accommodation within easy reach of the venue. With new investment ploughed in to the now fully redeveloped Circuit Paul Ricard, and an F1 schedule dangerously close to losing the required number of European events following the recent loss of the German Grand Prix, it is perhaps not altogether unexpected to see a return for one of the longest standing events in the sport come 2018. Reports in the French media suggest the circuit have agreed a five year deal to stage the race from 2018 onwards, with a likely late July slot muted for the event in place of the German race. Ecclestone was coy on details when questioned about the announcement due Monday but did let slip when speaking to Reuters that "Yes, I think it will happen" when pushed for a date the 86 year old confirmed he suspects it will be "more or less sort of the German date probably", Whatever the final outcome, I for one think it exceptionally good news that another classic event that should never have left the calendar to begin with has been reinstated on the Formula One schedule. He's hoping that more deserving circuits and countries find a way to bring Formula One back to the fans who most appreciate it, while at the same time giving the viewers at home a track that might actually produce some solid racing in years to come. If you like Formula One, check out our Formula One sub forum here at RaceDepartment for all the latest news and discussions regarding the sport. Head over and join in the conversation today! Are you happy to see the potential return of the French Grand Prix? Do you like Paul Ricard? What over races do you think should be on the schedule? Let us know in the comments section below!