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Welcome back Paul Ricard!

The Grand Prix de France Le Castellet will be the eighth round of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship season an a track which features a mix of blisteringly fast corners as well as tight technical stretches.

The race is back on the F1 calendar after a 10-year absence and it will be the 15th held on the Paul Ricard circuit.

Alain Prost won the last three French Grand Prix at Le Castellet between 1988 and 1990 after emerging victorious in the 1983 race. Only one other French driver has won in the Var – René Arnoux in 1982.

Some standout points on the circuit situated near Marseille in Southern France, include: the Verrerie Esses and the Camp corner will be enlarged and a chicane will divide the Mistral straight into two sections.

On the exit from the DRS zone the drivers will have to brake from 344 to 114 km/h. Overtaking guaranteed. They will round the mythical Signes curve at more than 340 km/h!

Click on graphic to enlarge:
Paul Ricard Circuit Map

French Grand Prix overview of historical facts & stats:

  • Juan Manuel Fangio holds the record for the number of pole positions in the Formula 1 French Grand Prix as he set the fastest time in qualifying on five occasions (1950, 1951, 1954, 1956 and 1957) on the Reims-Gueux and Rouen-les-Essarts circuits.
  • Jim Clark holds the record for the number of consecutive pole positions with four (1962-1965) set on three different circuits (Rouen-les-Essarts, Reims-Gueux, Charade).
  • Michael Schumacher holds the record for the highest number of victories all grands prix combined with eight wins on the Magny-Cours circuit (1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2006).
  • Alain Prost is the record-holder for the number of consecutive victories with three on the Paul Ricard circuit (1988 to 1990).
  • Schumacher and Prost the joint record holders for the number of podium appearances (11) on French soil.
  • In the teams’ and engine builders’ categories the Scuderia Ferrari holds all the records for the French Grand Prix with 17 pole positions, 17 victories (6 doubles), 48 podiums, 14 fastest laps in the race, 6061 km in the lead and 370 points scored.
  • The fastest French Grand Prix in the history of the race was the 1966 event on the Reims-Gueux circuit on which Jack Brabham averaged 220,322 km/h.
  • The closest finish also took place on this track in the champagne region when one second separated Juan Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling at the chequered flag in the 1954 event: a scenario repeated in 1961 between Giancarlo Baghetti and Dan Gurney.

Big Question: How important is the French Grand Prix for Formula 1?