Circuit Paul Ricard
Circuit Paul Ricard or Le Castellet, is a motor racing track located in Le Castellet, France. The circuit was named after its creator, the French industrialist and former Formula One driver Paul Ricard. It was built in 1969 as a test track for the car manufacturer Paul Ricard SA, but has since been used for various racing events, including Formula One, MotoGP, and GT racing.
The track has a length of 5.8 kilometers and features a total of 15 corners, with a mix of fast straights and technical corners. One of the circuit's most distinctive features is its use of colored run-off areas, with different colors representing different levels of grip and grip characteristics. The circuit also features a long straight known as the Mistral Straight, which is over a kilometer in length and provides a great opportunity for high-speed overtaking maneuvers.
The Paul Ricard Circuit has hosted the French Grand Prix on several occasions, with the most recent being in 2022. The circuit is also used as a testing facility for many of the Formula One teams, due to its modern facilities and variety of track configurations. In addition, the track hosts many other motorsport events throughout the year, including the Bol d'Or endurance race for motorcycles, and various GT and touring car events.
The French Grand Prix is one of the oldest and most prestigious motor racing events in the world, having first been held in 1906. The race has been held at several different circuits over the years, but is now primarily associated with the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France.
The first French Grand Prix was held in Le Mans in 1906, and was won by Hungarian driver Ferenc Szisz driving a Renault. The race became a regular fixture on the motorsport calendar, and was eventually incorporated into the newly-formed Formula One World Championship in 1950.
Over the years, the French Grand Prix has been held at several different circuits around France, including Reims, Rouen, and Dijon. However, the race has primarily been associated with the Circuit Paul Ricard in recent decades, and has been held there on many occasions since the 1970s.
The French Grand Prix has been won by many of the greatest drivers in motorsport history, including Juan Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, and Lewis Hamilton. The race has also been the site of many memorable moments in Formula One history, including Prost's controversial collision with Senna in 1989, and Hamilton's dramatic last-lap victory over Max Verstappen in 2018.
Despite a brief hiatus in the mid-2000s, the French Grand Prix has remained a staple of the Formula One calendar in recent years, and used to be one of the most important and prestigious races on the calendar.
FIA Grade: 1 (5 layouts), 2+1T (2 layouts)
Broke ground: June 1969
Opened: 19 April 1970; 52 years ago
Architect: Hermann Tilke
ELMS 4 Hours of Castellet
GT World Challenge Europe
1000 km Paul Ricard (2012–present)
FIM EWC Bol d'Or (1978–1999, 2015–2019, 2021–present)
International GT Open
TCR Europe (2018, 2020–present)
Alpine Elf Europa Cup (2018–present)
F1 Academy (2023)
BOSS GP (2013–2015, 2017, 2022–present)
FFSA GT (1997, 2009, 2011–2015, 2017–present)
French Grand Prix (Intermittently 1971–1990, 2018–2019, 2021–2022)
FIA Motorsport Games (2022)
WTCC Race of France (2014–2016)
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
French motorcycle Grand Prix
FIA GT (2006, 2009)
Sidecar World Championship
Current layout with Mistral chicane (1C-V2) (2005–present)
Length 5.842 km (3.630 miles)
Race lap record: 1:32.740 (Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, 2019, Formula One)
Current layout without Mistral chicane (1A-V2) (2005–present)
Length: 5.770 km (3.586 miles)
Race lap record: 1:40.139 (Nyck de Vries, Aurus 01, 2020, LMP2)
Short Circuit with Mistral chicane (3C) (2002–present)
Length: 3.841 km (2.387 miles)
Race lap record: 1:18.347 (Kimiya Sato, Lola B05/52, 2014, Auto GP)
Short Grand Prix Circuit (1986–2001)
Length: 3.812 km (2.369 miles)
Race lap record: 1:08.012 (Nigel Mansell, Ferrari 641, 1990, Formula One)
Original Grand Prix Circuit (1970–2001)
Length: 5.809 km (3.610 miles)
Race lap record: 1:39.914 (Keke Rosberg, Williams FW10, 1985, Formula One)
Original National Circuit (1970–2001)
Length: 3.263 km (2.028 miles)
Race lap record: 1:15.800 (Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Alpine A441, 1974, Group 5)