Situated 120KM North East of Paris CDG Airport is the currently disused Laon-Couvron Air Base. Rumours has it that the site has recently been purchased by MSV, Motorsports Vision, owners of the Brands Hatch circuit amongst others in the UK. It is understood that group, led by former Formula One Driver Jonathan Palmer, have ambitions to redevelop the site, creating a new circuit in France and ultimately the new home of the French F1 Grand Prix. Reports suggest redevelopment work will commence in 2016.
The site is situated between two major highways through France, a little over 1.5 hour’s drive from Paris and 40 minutes from Reims. Local infrastructure is relatively limited at this time but no more so than other existing European venues. Former airfield’s serve as logical venues for racing circuits, Silverstone immediately springs to mind. As you can see from these images of the Laon-Couvron Air Base sourced through Google Maps the fundamentals for a racing circuit are already present.
News of Jonathan Palmer investing in bringing Formula One back to France comes at a time when his son Jolyon Palmer has been confirmed; assuming the sale of the Lotus F1 team is completed, as a future Renault F1 Team driver. It has been stated that the financial backing Jolyon Palmer will be bringing to his seat in Formula One is minimal in comparison to other drivers in the sport. Working on a more expansive project within which an experienced circuit owner in the form of Jonathan Palmer leads or takes ownership of Renault’s ambition to bring a French Grand Prix back to the F1 calendar, would be sensible approach, and would serve to further underline Renault’s long-term commitment to Motorsport.
Without formal confirmation from; MSV, Jonathan Palmer, or Renault, talk around the venue remains speculation at this time. This story will be updated further information becomes available.