21 - 23 Jun
FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE 2019
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Circuit Paul Ricard
First Grand Prix
Number of Laps
1:32.740 Sebastian Vettel (2019)
Work began on pastis magnate Paul Ricard’s track in 1969, with French racers Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Henri Pescarolo acting as consultants on the layout. Racing began at the circuit a year later.
Formula 1 hit the Circuit Paul Ricard in 1971, with Jackie Stewart winning the inaugural race in his Tyrrell 003.
The Circuit Paul Ricard’s even distribution of high-, medium- and low-speed corners is a key reason why it’s one of the most used test circuits in the world (the typically good weather is another). F1 drivers love the 290km/h right-hander at Signes and the 5g joyride of the following Beausset bend, while the circuit’s 2018 return to the F1 calendar showed that the French Grand Prix track is a bit of an overtaking gem.
Drive just 10km south of the circuit and you’ll find yourself on the French Riviera, one of the most revered coastlines in the world thanks to its beautiful beaches, pretty harbourside towns, great food and, if you fancy it, incredible local wines. Apart from the racing action, that’s why you go!
The Chicane series of grandstands put you at the best overtaking point on the track (as Sebastian Vettel proved during his 2018 fightback from 17th to fifth), while if you want to be closer to the fun and friendly Paul Ricard paddock, bag seats in the Virage du Pont stands to watch cars making their way through the final corner before blasting away down the main straight.
A history of the French GP in 7 circuits
ROAD TO F1: De Vries takes commanding F2 win as Ilott shines in GP3
QUIZ: Put your French GP knowledge to the test