RACE DEBRIEF

    Why Go?

    Opened in 1970 by the French pastis magnate, the Circuit Paul Ricard occupies a prime spot on the French Riviera between the cities of Marseille and Toulon.

    First used for the French Grand Prix in 1971, 2018 marks the return of the Le Castellet venue to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since 1990, when Alain Prost won his home Grand Prix driving for Ferrari.

    A weekend spent watching Formula 1 at the Circuit Paul Ricard is the perfect launch pad for a holiday on the Mediterranean. Apart from Marseille and Toulon, the pretty port towns of Hyères and the famous Saint-Tropez lie close by, while wine fans will find themselves smack bang in the middle of a region that’s world famous for its rosés and spicy, full-bodied reds.

    Where to go?

    Staying in Marseille? The city’s domineering Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica is worth a visit, not least for the stunning 360 degree views of the Old Port and surrounding coastline. Given the popularity of the local tipple, a wine tour at one of Provence’s many vineyards wouldn’t go amiss either. And if all that sounds like too much hard work and you just want to lie on a beach, you’re in luck; several of France’s best beaches are within striking distance of the Circuit Paul Ricard. Try Antibes, Les Calanques de Cassis, Marseille’s Prado Beaches, Porquerolles Island, Saint-Tropez or Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat’s Paloma Beach.