Ocon: Uncertain future for French GP in F1 "disappointing"

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon says it is "disappointing" to see that the French Grand Prix is likely to be absent from the 2023 Formula 1 calendar.

Ocon: Uncertain future for French GP in F1 "disappointing"

In 2018 the race returned to the F1 calendar after a 10-year absence, with Paul Ricard taking over from Magny-Cours.

But after four editions - the 2020 race was not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic - July's 2022 edition could be the last one as Paul Ricard's expiring contract has yet to be renewed.

While F1's owner Liberty Media is keen on continuing to expand the calendar, it wants to bring grand prix racing to what it calls destination markets around the world, as evidenced by its American push towards Miami and Las Vegas.

PLUS: How star-studded Miami Grand Prix reveals F1's direction of travel 

The remote venues of Le Castellet and the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, which is also struggling to see its contract renewed, are a less exciting commercial proposition for Liberty Media despite their historical connections to the world championship.

With spots on the calendar becoming increasingly scarce, both tracks could end up in a rotation hosting races every other year, or disappear altogether.

Frenchman Ocon, who contested the French GP in 2018 and 2021, is naturally disappointed that the future of his home race is looking bleak.

"I'm following the conversations obviously and seeing how that's going but yeah, it doesn't look too nice," Ocon said at the Monaco Grand Prix.

"It is very disappointing. I've been living in my young career when the grand prix was not there.

Ocon has twice competed in his home grand prix, in 2018 and 2021

Ocon has twice competed in his home grand prix, in 2018 and 2021

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

"Then it came back, and I've been very lucky and very fortunate to race there. We have it this year, and we are going to enjoy it to the fullest."

With Monaco's place on the calendar also no longer as safe as thought, Ocon highlighted the importance of preserving some of the sport's most historic races.

"I think there are countries that we need to race in," he explained.

"France is part of that. Belgium is part of that, Monaco is part of that.

"We should keep you know these races that are special to us and see what we do with them."

shares
comments

Related video

Is F1 barking up the wrong tree with its anti-jewellery stance?
Previous article

Is F1 barking up the wrong tree with its anti-jewellery stance?

Next article

How can F1 break the deadlock over competing cost cap desires?

How can F1 break the deadlock over competing cost cap desires?
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022