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French Grand Prix, Au Revoir to a historic F1 race for now

french grand prix paul ricard circuit france verstappen

There was disappointment around France earlier this year, as it was announced that the French Grand Prix would no longer be part of the Formula 1 calendar.

It isn’t the first time that the race in France has been scrapped from the calendar, as it wasn’t held between 2009 and 2017.

However, many believed that the return in 2018 to the Paul Ricard would mean that one of the oldest races will be a regular fixture and popular like online roulette Malaysia. However, the additions of the Qatar Grand Prix and Las Vegas Grand Prix meant that it was always likely that the French Grand Prix would be the one to make way.

Historic Race

Throwback Thursday - the first French Grand Prix, 26 June 1906 | Autocar

The French Grand Prix has long been one of the most significant races on the calendar, as it is the oldest Grand Prix in the world. It was first staged in June 1906 under the Grand Prix name, and it was staged on public road circuits, which included drivers passing through different towns every year.

In modern history, the French Grand Prix moved to Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, which would become the seventh venue to host the race in the Formula 1 era. However, the move didn’t go down extremely well with organizers, as the location of the track was remote.

But, there were still some memorable moments at the track during its 17-year stay. Among those was Alain Prost’s sixth and final win on home soil in 1993, while Michael Schumacher recorded the 2002 championship at the track after just eleven races.

Race’s Absence

damon hill williams magny-cours

Worries about the French Grand Prix and its place on the F1 calendar were in the air as early as 2007, as new circuits and financial difficulties at the circuit meant that it was harder to see the race having a future. That was evident in 2008, as the final French Grand Prix at the Magny-Cours circuit was held. This would ultimately be the final French Grand Prix for over ten years.

However, the day that all French F1 fans were dreaming of finally arrived in December 2016, as it was revealed that the race would return to the calendar and that it would be staged at Circuit Paul Ricard. The contract would only run until 2022, and the 2020 edition of the race was postponed due to COVID-19 regulations in the country.

However, the French Grand Prix’s place on the calendar ultimately came to an end in December, as promoters of the race revealed that it would not be on the schedule for the 2023 season. But, organizers are hopeful that the race can return on a rotational basis in the coming seasons.

Most Successful Drivers

schumacher 1998 french gp

Some of the most famous drivers in history have claimed victory at the French Grand Prix. However, no driver was as dominant at the track throughout their career as Michael Schumacher. The German driver landed eight victories in the race throughout his career in Formula 1, which included four wins between 1994 and 1998. His final success in France was achieved in 2006.

Meanwhile, the most successful French driver in the history of the home Grand Prix remains Alain Prost. The former world champion claimed six victories in the race between 1981 and 1993, with his success in the latter being his final win at his home track. Louis Chiron holds the record for third-most race wins, despite none of his five victories coming in the Formula 1 World Championship.

His first victory was achieved in 1931 in the pre-war era of the World Manufacturers’ Championship. However, his dominance would continue between 1934 and 1949, as he would pick up four further victories in non-world championship races. The most successful current drivers in F1 are Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, who have both claimed two victories in the French Grand Prix.

Could The French Grand Prix Return?

LE CASTELLET, FRANCE - JULY 24: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari F1-75 leads Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 and the rest of the field into turn one at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard on July 24, 2022 in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The future of the Grand Prix in France is uncertain at this time. The prestige of the Monaco Grand Prix, which is held in the city of French-speaking casinos, makes it difficult for organizers to plan another race in close proximity.

Despite this, organizers are determined to bring the French Grand Prix back on a rotating basis and it may return in the 2024 season. But, it remains to be seen which race will share its spot with the French Grand Prix in this kind of deal. Regardless, the future of F1 remains bright, as the additions of the races in Qatar and Las Vegas have already captured the imagination of fans.