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French Grand Prix to return in 2018 at Paul Ricard // Boullier helps to bring F1 back to France

Published by Christine Blachford

French Grand Prix to return in 2018 at Paul Ricard
Credit: LAT Photographic
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The French Grand Prix will make a return to the F1 calendar for the 2018 season in a five year deal, as the Paul Ricard circuit steps back up as host. By then, it will be ten years since a French Grand Prix appeared on the calendar, with the 2008 race being held at Magny-Cours. Paul Ricard hasn’t hosted a race since 1990, but has been used for testing in the intervening years.

McLaren race director Éric Boullier had a hand in the deal, as he explained: “Specifically, since although I’m French I live in England, I can gain access to Bernie Ecclestone more easily than can less well connected individuals based outside the UK. In that context, I was able to make sure a discussion occurred, a presentation was viewed and considered, and a series of the right messages conveyed and understood.”

It all sounds very clandestine, but the agreement is official, set for five years, with a letter of commitment received to seal the deal.