French Grand Prix set for 2018 Formula 1 return at Paul Ricard

The French Grand Prix is expected to return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2018 with a race at the Paul Ricard circuit

French Grand Prix set for 2018 Formula 1 return at Paul Ricard

The track, which last held an F1 race in 1990, is set to announce a deal on Monday, putting France back on the calendar for the first time since its last race at Magny-Cours in 2008.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told Reuters "I think it will happen", tipping the race for "more or less" the German GP's recent late-July slot in the calendar.

Germany fell off the 2017 schedule following this week's FIA World Motor Sport Council, after which a revised calendar for next year was revealed.

Paul Ricard ceased hosting racing events in 1999, when it was revamped into a circuit only for testing.

International motorsport gradually returned to the venue in the mid-2000s, first with the FIA GT championship in 2006, and since then major single-seater championships including European Formula 3 and Formula Renault 3.5 have raced there.

While the redesigned circuit was not initially equipped to host many spectators, over the years that followed the return of major racing facilities were increased to allow for more fans to attend events.

Contemporary F1 machinery last took to the track in January of this year, when Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren took part in a wet-weather tyre test for Pirelli with their 2015 cars.

The French GP nearly returned to F1 for 2013, with Ecclestone declaring a deal was "done" in April 2012, and the race was also in the running later that year when a GP in New Jersey failed to materialise.

During the previous talks about F1 returning to Paul Ricard, circuit bosses declared that the plan would be to use its full layout, rather than the truncated version used from 1986-90 in the wake of the death of Elio de Angelis in a testing accident.

The subject of whether the layout would include the use of a chicane on the famous 1.1-mile Mistral Straight was also debated, with track director Stephane Clair saying at the time it would be up to the race promoters.

Reports emerged in 2014 that Magny-Cours was trying to revive the race, but while Ecclestone accepted "they are knocking on the door", he also ruled out the chances of the French GP returning for 2015.

shares
comments
Driving a Formula 1 car surprisingly easy - MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo

Previous article

Driving a Formula 1 car surprisingly easy - MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo

Next article

New Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg announces retirement

New Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg announces retirement
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021