French Grand Prix traffic problems 'ridiculous' for F1

Traffic arrangements for the French Grand Prix have been labelled as "ridiculous" after fans and team members all faced difficulties getting into the Paul Ricard circuit on Friday

French Grand Prix traffic problems 'ridiculous' for F1

With the infrastructure around the French circuit not ideal for a major sporting event, traffic queues stretched for several miles, and many fans gave up attending the track at all after being stuck for hours while Formula 1 practice was on.

Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer said he had a cancel a business meeting after a guest ran out of time to get to the track.

"It took us two hours to go 10 miles," he said. "It was ridiculous.

"We had a guest who was flying in to have a meeting with me and then flying back.

"He never made it to the meeting. He had to turnaround and go back to the airport.

"He phoned me and said: 'Sorry, I've moved 7km in two and a half hours, my flight is at 5pm. I have to turn back'."

Szafnauer said the traffic issue should be a worry to F1's bosses because fans could be put off entirely by the problems.

"For me it is not a big issue if it takes me two hours to go 10 miles, I am going to come here anyway," he said.

"If I was a fan and on Friday it took me two and a half hours to go seven kilometres I might think twice, and that is the problem.

"The fans have choice, and they will probably choose events where it doesn't take two and a half hours to cover seven kilometres."

It wasn't just fans and team members facing problems, though, because Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean had to be forceful at a police roadblock after they were told they could not go any further.

Grosjean said: "It's not easier [as drivers], because policemen, I'll quote them, "we don't care" that we're drivers.

I was with Sebastian Vettel, we got stopped by policemen at the 'yield' sign. We stopped normally.

"Then, we wanted to go, but they didn't want to let us go. I explained that we were drivers and without drivers, there's no show. That's when they told me "we don't care".

"[Then] We sped up! It's a bit of a shame, it's a bit surprising. We had our passes, our team gear, everything."

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Series Formula 1
Author Oleg Karpov
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