French GP to undergo a “completely new track layout”?

03-12-2019 16:42
by Bevan Youl
General
French GP to undergo a “completely new track layout”?

The French Grand Prix strategic advisor for the French Grand Prix has said that big changes could be made to the Paul Ricard Circuit after being handed a “completely new track layout” from the FIA and Formula One Management.

The 2019 French GP received a lot of criticism for being a ‘boring’ race which has prompted discussions with the FIA and FOM for ways to increase overtaking and better racing around the Paul Ricard Circuit.
 
FIA race director Michael Masi, alongside the FOM, presented Boullier with possible changes on a largely different track layout.
 
“I asked what do we need to do? They came back to me with a completely new track layout which was not Paul Ricard at all,” he said to Motorsport.com.
 
“It was a new track so a different story! But that was part of the purpose of my request, to find out what could be done.

“So I’m now in the process of coming back to them and saying which ideas are good and I agree with. We are working on it and we will see what can be done.”

The majority of the ideas that Frenchman approves of would mean a change to the first sector of the track to make it faster.

“Based on the results I’ve seen from FOM, this [first part of track] is going to be my suggestion. So not to redesign everything,” he added.

“We will keep the chicane, and we will keep Signes and Beausset, because they are signature corners.

“But maybe we can change from Turn 1 to Turn 4 to make it, let’s say, faster, with big braking. And then having two big straight lines that should cause a team to run less downforce.

“Everybody says take out this chicane and have a straight line and it’s going to solve your problem.

“Yes, but it’s creating more problems for me because I’ve got 10,000 grandstand seats there. And obviously the main revenue stream of a grand prix promoter is ticketing.

“So where am I going to put these 10,000 people in the grandstand? Plus, also, all the overtaking manoeuvres happened there.

“We can change a little bit the configuration where it makes the braking harder and it gives another 20 metres longer for the second part where, if we have a third DRS zone, we could see maybe some more overtaking.”

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