‘Completely new track layout’ for French GP?

Planet F1

‘Completely new track layout’ for French GP?

Eric Boullier, strategic advisor for the French GP, says main modifications may very well be coming to the structure of Paul Ricard.

Circuit chiefs have been in discussions with the FIA and FOM over methods to spice up overtaking on the venue after a dismal 2019 French GP.

Motorsport.com report that such modifications may embrace alterations to the chicane on the Mistral Straight to make it tighter, in addition to a 3rd DRS zone earlier than Signes and an all-new structure within the first part of the observe.

Boullier, the previous Renault and McLaren boss turned advisor for the French GP, has been in talks with FIA race director Michael Masi and the FOM about attainable modifications, and he says they’ve come again to him with a “fully new observe structure”.

“I requested what do we have to do? They got here again to me with a very new observe structure which was not Paul Ricard in any respect,” he informed Motorsport.com.

“It was a brand new observe so a distinct story! However that was a part of the aim of my request, to search out out what may very well be accomplished.

“So I’m now within the means of coming again to them and saying which concepts are good and I agree with. We’re engaged on it and we are going to see what could be accomplished.”

And the concepts which Boullier does like are going to revolve principally across the first part of the circuit.

“Primarily based on the outcomes I’ve seen from FOM, this [first part of track] goes to be my suggestion. So to not redesign all the pieces,” he confirmed.

“We’ll maintain the chicane, and we are going to maintain Signes and Beausset, as a result of they’re signature corners.

“However possibly we are able to change from Flip 1 to Flip 4 to make it, let’s say, sooner, with large braking. After which having two large straight strains that ought to trigger a workforce to run much less downforce.

“Everyone says take out this chicane and have a straight line and it’s going to resolve your downside.

“Sure, however it’s creating extra issues for me as a result of I’ve bought 10,000 grandstand seats there. And clearly the principle income stream of a grand prix promoter is ticketing.

“So the place am I going to place these 10,000 individuals within the grandstand? Plus, additionally, all of the overtaking manoeuvres occurred there.

“We are able to change just a little bit the configuration the place it makes the braking more durable and it provides one other 20 metres longer for the second half the place, if we have now a 3rd DRS zone, we may see possibly some extra overtaking.”

‘Completely new track layout’ for French GP?

However Boullier doesn’t know but when any work would start, because it isn’t even determined but who’s “paying for this”.

“I don’t know but, we have now to take the choice and work out who’s going to pay for this,” he stated.

From 2020 Paul Ricard plans to include a pageant factor that features a Goodwood-style open paddock for followers, whereas the assist race schedule is ready to be beefed up.

“We now have determined to push with FOM in direction of sequence with greater than 30 vehicles, and plenty of observe motion to make the followers pleased with the on observe present,” Boullier defined.

“And since this would be the seventieth anniversary of F1, I want to deliver some outdated vehicles and have an open paddock, Goodwood-style, the place followers can contact the vehicles and discuss to the homeowners. It’s not good to have these fenced paddocks in every single place – it’s good to open it up.”

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