What future for the French Grand Prix?

The “Summer Race” is this weekend at Circuit Paul-Ricard in Le Castellet, in Var, for the Formula 1 Grand Prix de France. Far from that powdery marketing name, it could above all be an event from the last contested F1 GP race on French soil since the contract binding the Public Interest Group (GIP) to Formula One Group (FOM), the discipline’s commercial rights holder, expired this year. Negotiations are still ongoing between the two parties regarding a possible extension until 2027, as desired by the GIP.

The situation, especially the attraction of F1, has changed radically since the last agreement with the arrival, in particular, of the Netflix series campaign to survive, which attracted a large number of new spectators to the discipline, whet the appetite of newcomers such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia or, more recently, Miami and Las Vegas. “Formula 1 has the privilege of having the wind in its sails and with this new enthusiasm there are more destinations that are willing to welcome it than the dates on the calendar,” 20 minutesEric Boullier, director of the French Grand Prix.

With the problem of the price of the entrance ticket when circuits such as Saudi Arabia, Miami or Las Vegas pay about 50 million euros a year, compared to about twenty million “only” for the so-called historical “Grand Prix”, such as the Tour de France, Belgium, Spa or Monaco. “There may be preferential treatment related to seniority, but there can’t be much difference in the group entry price. If you go to a restaurant and pay €150 for your steak, and you pay €30 for it, you won’t be happy when you see the bill”, photo Jean Alessi, who still wanted to get a general practitioner in France for “the next 50 years”.

A concert to “present a magical moment” to viewers

Thus, the organizers of the Grand Prix de France are trying to stand out by all means, in addition to racing against the crowds that have been observed in many races since the beginning of this season, in particular in Barcelona, ​​causing major traffic problems, or at Silverstone. “We will have over 200,000 people over the entire weekend, which is a new record. We have implemented a very ambitious mobility plan with limited car access, in favor of alternative mobility. We are also the only Grand Prix organizer to have received three stars in terms of sustainable development. ‘ welcomes, as much as he wants to stand out, Eric Boullier.

He also wants to make the Grand Prix de France attractive thanks to “entertainment”, such as the return of a “concert on the main stage”, in order to “present an exceptional magical moment” to the viewers. Besides the fights on the track, Paul-Ricard is not known for being the most exciting race on the calendar.

Fixed “By the end of July”

Among the solutions mentioned, the possible alternation between several European historical circles, such as Spa. “Once there are more candidates than dates, there are discussions about the possibility of a system of rotation and rotation between different GPs. We are at the beginning of the discussions, is the FIA ​​ready to extend the calendar? We are in a state of mind and must understand which direction you want to go,” said Eric Boullier. F1 to take it.”

But F1 chief Stefano Domenicali has further damaged the future of the French Grand Prix at Castellet by recently emphasizing the the team That Nice GP could also be an option for the future of discipline in France. Neither Renault Muselier, president of the Baka region, nor Christian Estrosi, the mayor of Nice who has worked for F1’s return to Le Castellet in 2018, have wanted to answer our questions about the future of the event in France. Proof of file paper. Many environmental associations reacted swiftly, and this option was highly criticized.

However, Paul Ricard’s circuit and the Formula 1 world must be fixed quickly, in the words of Stefano Domenicali: “All I can say is that by the end of July you will know more about the future of the Grand Prix.” Why isn’t the Summer Race a weekend?

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