The French Grand Prix May Finally Stop Giving Fans a Boring F1 Race

Published 02/11/2021, 11:48 PM EST


The Paul Ricard circuit in France has revamped itself to provide a more exciting F1 race. The circuit has gone through a resurfacing and re-profiling program aimed at aiding this season’s French Grand Prix.

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Studio Dromo planned and oversaw the changes made at Paul Ricard. In line with their Silverstone reworking in 2019, they worked within the confines of the existing track layout.

According to a report, “The changes cover 70% of the track’s 5.8-kilometre length and all of its 15 corners except the high-speed right-hander Signes (turn 10).”

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However, the plans to alter the first sector to aid overtaking have been on hold.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action at the start of the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

“We had the requirements to fix some corners from an asphalt perspective and while we were there, we said ‘OK, let’s do the maximum that we can do within the boundaries that we have,” said Studio Dromo owner Jarno Zaffelli.

Paul Ricard renovation was similar to Silverstone F1 circuit, claims Zaffelli

As mentioned earlier, Studio Dromo was also responsible for the renovations of Zandvoort and Silverstone circuits. Zaffelli explained that their team applied the same methods as they did at the Silverstone circuit.

“We reprofiled all the corners that we basically resurfaced. The only one that was not reprofiled was turn 10, the other ones were just slightly changed. Some things for the drainage, some things for the overtaking manoeuvres and so on. So the same cure that we tried to apply in Silverstone.”

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Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ George Russell leads and Valtteri Bottas is second placed after the start of the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Zaffelli talked about the most dramatic change of the renovation project at turn 5. The change was made for drainage purposes and it presents a challenge for the racers as the corner has a crest that is on the racing line.

According to Zaffelli, the drivers will find the Paul Ricard track much smoother than in 2019. With the changes in turn 5 and turn 7, both leading up to overtaking opportunities, the circuit could deliver an exciting race this season.

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The circuit will hope to make a comeback in the F1 calendar next season. Would you like to see more races at Paul Ricard?

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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