About the circuit
The first races of the French Grand Prix were held on Paul Ricard Circuit from 1970-1990. The French Grand Prix became the center of attention of different stadiums and venues including the street circuits in the 50’s after the first races took place in 1902. After this they shifted to Magny-Cours and continued to take place there till 2008. For many years the idea of taking the game back to Paul Ricards was debated on until 2016, when an official announcement was made that the Formula 1 Grand Prix would now be hosted at the Blue-and Red Circuit in 2018. This decision held a lot of significance in the history of the Grand Prix because it was going to be the first race at Paul Ricard after the 1990’s and also the first French Grand Prix since the year 2008.
The Paul Ricard Circuit is known for being very flat and having an unusual design. It is built on a plateau and its blue and red painted runoff areas pop up highlighting the whole track from afar! The red part of the track surrounds the blue one giving the track a beautiful and rich in color look. This track is titled as one of the most challenging tracks to drive on. The drivers who have earned a victory over the Paul Ricard were considered to have a high probability to win the World Championship as well.
The complete length of the track is 5.842 km now, but it wasn’t always like this. The track was known to have one of the longest straights in the World Championship known as the “Mistral Straight”. This straight was measured to be as long as 1.8 km when the track was first built. Later in 1986, the track was modified in an attempt to make the circuit shorter by adding a chicane in the middle of the Mistral Straight This cut down the length of track to 3.8km. Moreover. 10,000 tons of asphalt were used to resurface the track and pit lane. This was done prior to the return of the races to the track. Further renovations included the widening of the track at several points and the modification of the track at four different corners. The Virage de Bendor was reshaped & shortened in length as well to make the whole track shorter