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History

History

2018

Return of the French Formula 1 Grand Prix on 24 June, 28 years after the last Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard. Winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes AMG Petronas).

Installation of 46,000 permanent seats in the grandstands around the track.

Construction of a new Media Center (capacity 250 journalists and 500 m² seminar room).

Construction of Paddock III (16,000 m²).

Creation of 3 new spectator access gates to the west.

Construction of the Richard Mille time tower.

Fitting out of new pedestrian passageways.

2017

First edition of the Sunset Run.

Installation of a Renault Sport motorsport training base in partnership with the Winfield Racing School.

Start of works in winter 2017: resurfacing of the main track and modification of 3 bends: La Verrerie, more closed but widened at the entrance to facilitate departure and create a technical bend with heavy breaking. Widening of the Le Camp and Le Pont bends in order to increase passing speeds and favour overtaking.

Inauguration of the car park shaded by photovoltaic panels (20,000 m²).

2016

Creation of the Association Sportive Automobile (ASA) of Circuit Paul Ricard, in order to promote training and participation in motorsport.

2015

Return of the Bol d’Or (24-hour world endurance motorcycle championship).

First edition of Événement Vélo, a 6 or 24-hour endurance race.

Speed record of the Circuit Paul Ricard set by the motorcyclist Philippe Monneret on the Kawasaki Ninja H2R on 22 May (357 km/h recorded on Mistral straight).

World Premiere: GreenGT H2, first electric-hydrogen racing car revealed at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

Opening of the Xtrem Park leisure park in the circuit area.

2014

Return of the Trucks Grand Prix (French Truck Championship race).

Speed record for François Gissy’s rocket bicycle (333 km/h) in the Mistral straight.

2013

Organisation of the first Spartan Race in France.

Organisation of a dragster race on 20 and 21 July, the Castellet Drag Race, 30 years after the last such event in Le Castellet.

Opening of the Driving Center, a 1.6 km leisure driving track designed for car driving courses and corporate events.

Installation of two beehives at the site in order to measure the impact on the environment (beekiping vigilance).

2012

Return of the official FFM races (French Motorcycle Federation), after 13 years, to the Circuit Paul Ricard, with Twin Cup, French Roadster Trophy and Protwin Challenge races.

2011

Opening of the EasyMonneret motorcycle and scooter training school devoted to two-wheel vehicle safety (motorcycle licence and 125cc training courses).

2010
PIT BUILDING II

The Pit Building is being extended in order to supply new garages: the Pit Building II counts 5 additional garages which can be split up and two technical pits. This new building also offers five commentator cabins as well as the new podium on its roof. Thanks to this extension, the circuit counts 34 garages and an additional paddock area, the Paddock II, of 10,000 square meters.

The circuit celebrated its 40th birthday during a gala party organized on October 10th, with prestigious guests and famous drivers and personalities who built the 40 years of the legendary circuit.

2009
REOPENING TO THE PUBLIC

Ten years after the last event attended by spectators (the "Bol d'Or" in September 1999), the Paul Ricard Circuit opened again its doors to spectators for motorsport races and club meetings. Additional developments are made, such as the construction of a 4.400-seat grandstand in the start straight, completing the 600 seats in the 2004-build Grand Prix Hall, as well as a car parking behind the new grandstands.

In the summer 2009, the Circuit started the development of an additional public area: the hill over the “Double Droite du Beausset” turn. This expansion increased the spectator area and allowed to welcome over 10.000 people. Car and motorcycle parking and picnic areas are also equipped behind the hill of the Signes curve.

2007
FIRST CENTER OF EXCELLENCE

The Paul Ricard HTTT receives the prize of First Center of Excellence awarded by the FIA Institute for Motorsport Safety, recognizing the work done in safety research and innovation

2006
HOMOLOGATION FIA

The track is given the FIA Homologation (Fédération Automobile Internationale).

2005
SUZUKA V1 AND V2 TURNS

Construction of the Suzuka V1 and V2 turns at the Verrerie “S” turns.

2004
LE PETIT BEAUSSET

Construction of the “Petit Beausset” turn in the Signes curve.

2003
MONTRÉAL CHICANE

Construction of the Montreal Chicane in the Mistral straight.

2002
BLUE LINE

The Paul Ricard HTTT becomes an innovative track, ahead of its time, in particular due to its Blue Line™ concept, which combines design with safety.

2001
NEW TURNS

After the new Toyota Motorsport Formula 1 was launched, the renovation work began in April with the competitive bidding among companies from the Var and Bouches du Rhône regions of France. The original layout of the track is modified to optimize safety:

  • Removal of the chicane after the “Double Droite du Beausset”;
  • Transformations of the turns "Virage du Pont", "Virage de l’Hôtel", "Virage du Camp", « Virage de Bendor » and "Virage du Lac".
  • Creation of new more technical turns: the "Epingle" (Hairpin), the North and South Chicanes in the Mistral straight, the "Airport" S curve and the Signes Chicane.

The Pit Building is also completely modernized: the pit lane access tunnel is transformed into the building’s entrance hall; new garages are built on the front of the building; the paddock is closed up with a new fence.

1999
CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD HIGH TECH TEST TRACK

The race track and Le Castellet air field were bought by Excelis Company. Philippe Gurdjian, organizer of the F1 French Grand Prix from 1985 to 1997, is asked to take care of the renovation of the complete site, in order to make it the first track in the world dedicated exclusively to testing and communication. It is then renamed the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track.

1980
BOL D'OR

Bol d'Or races (22 events through 1999) and “Moto Journal Paul Ricard 200 Miles” races from 1974 to 1982.

1973
MOTORBIKE FRENCH GRAND PRIX

First French Motorcycle Grand Prix, 13 races through 1999.

1971
FORMULA 1 FRENCH GRAND PRIX

First Formula 1 French Grand Prix, 14 races through 1990.

1970
CREATION OF THE CIRCUIT

Creation of circuit by Paul Ricard, opened April 19th 1970.

Winners