Return of the French GP? It’s about time!

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If the French Grand Prix returns to the Formula 1 calendar, it will have been 10 years since it was last a valuable event on the European leg of F1’s travels. Europe 1 says that the French could have something to cheer about with a return of the race, which had been a staple on the F1 calendar since the earliest of days in the 1950’s, on the famed Paul Ricard circuit owned by a trust of Bernie Ecclestone’s.

The circuit last saw action from 1971 through 1990 but Magny Cours had taken over the honor from there. Now it seems a deal could be close for a five-year stint and that a conference will take place at the Automobile Club de France in Paris. Amongst those present will be, Nicolas Deschaux, head of the FFSA, and Christian Estrosi, president of the regional council of Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur or PACA.

Every year I sound like a broken record but the two things missing from F1 that are painfully obvious is a race in France (and now Germany) and a French team in French Racing Blue…not yellow for Renault. Perhaps this a major first step toward harmony in F1? Now if we can only get Renault to paint those cars blue!

Hat Tip: Europe 1


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Peter Riva

The Paul Ricard Circuit is near Toulon (Marseille is the airport – and that’s great because there are $150 each way flights from DC area to Marseille now!). But the circuit is seriously fast with very long straights… yipes.


A reborn French GP would be great! I have to admit that I’m not super thrilled about Paul Ricard, due to the vast oceans of run-off area. But if FIA is serious about trying to find ways to make at least some run-off areas self-policing, they may have some ideas to improve this one too. And a French GP at Paul Ricard is better than no French GP, of course :-)


Perhaps they can paint the oceans of run off ‘french racing blue’, Todd would go for that.


Manifique! Just what I had in mind :-)

charlie white

While I’m happy to hear the French GP may return to the calendar, I’m not happy about it being at Paul Ricard. It’s mostly used as a private test circuit, there are very few grandstands, flat and featureless. And doesn’t Bernie E owns this track and would that be a conflict of interest?

Junipero Mariano

Wow, I didn’t know Boss Hogg officiated the French GP! ;)

Tom Firth

I was wondering when speak of a French GP would start again… Now that Francois Fillion looks set to be the center right candidate for the french presidency.


While it would be neat to have races at all of the traditional circuits in Europe, where the sports roots are. It’s also great that there are races at traditional and new circuits in traditional and new venues around the world, to expose the sport to new fans. The challenge must be to decide how many races can a season hold, and how to strike a balance between traditional and new venues that are logistically and commercially sustainable? 21 is already a very long season, we need one more to make my ‘each driver drives each car’ wdc concept work.… Read more »


Motorsport are tweeting Jen is original views of the circuit after the first GP was held there in 1971.

It makes interesting reading. Perhaps not everything is the fault of Herman Tilke.

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