Good news for F1 fans! The latest French Grand Prix update is returning to the mainstream Formula 1 racing season in 2018. It took 10 long years sabbatical from competitive motorsports racing. The announcement on the Circuit Paul Ricard comes barely less than a week after German Grand Prix formalized its departure from 2017.
While the 2016 F1 season calendar had 21 races, the 2017 edition features one less. Speculations are rife that the Malaysian and the Singapore Grand Prix will bow out, too, leaving two major vacancies in the 2018 F1 season calendar.
French Grand Prix update: What it means for the F1 fans?
It has been a week of surprises and revelations for the F1 fans so far. Into the last month of the year 2016, the F1 calendar for 2017 is already one short of full-blown adventure that the 2016 F1 season calendar offered.
The return of the French Grand Prix spells good times are yet to get over for the European fans. It is the second race to claw back into the F1 calendar since the Austrian Grand Prix.
French Grand Prix is among the oldest motorsport tracks in the world. The first race was held in the year 1906. The track witnessed 86 races till 2008, its centenary year, before being shunted out of the F1 calendar.
Apart from fans, the drivers are also excited about the recent French Grand Prix update. French driver Romain Grosjean tweeted about his excitement on racing in front of his home crowd in 2018.
C'est officiel on va avoir un Grand Prix de France ! Trop heureux??? pic.twitter.com/SQyMbyyD3H
— Romain Grosjean (@RGrosjean) December 5, 2016
What prompted the French Grand Prix’s return?
The French Grand Prix has been held in 16 different venues and the Circuit Paul Ricard is one of them. According to CNN, the owners of the track have signed a five-year deal. It will help develop Marseille into a sports tourism capital. Speaking to the press, Christian Estrosi, President of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, pegged the cost of hosting the race at $32 million.
Built in 1969, the last F1 race at Le Castellet was held in 1990 before the French Grand Prix moved to Magny-Cours. The fact that the Circuit Paul Ricard is owned by Excelis, a company owned by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, definitely made things easy for the hosts to pitch their voice.
Hopefully, we will have more surprises from the F1 ranks before the year ends on a high!