Tag Archives: French GP

Formula One: Kimi talks to his Fans on via Instagram

Kimi Räikkönen’s increasing use of social media to engage with fans and critics continued today with the 2007 Champion posting a Q&A session.

Through the post, Kimi talks about his family, touches on his future plans and praises the trophy design selected for the 2018 French Grand Prix.  It seems Gorilla’s and the Iceman go well together!

It’s great to see driver’s taking control of their online presence and engaging with fans in ways in which they deem appropriate.

Thanks to the TheMiezicat for posting the session on YouTube.

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Formula One: Arm the Sprinklers!

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Formula One returns to Paul Ricard this weekend for the first French Grand Prix in twenty years. The legendary circuit redeveloped in the early 2000’s under the guidance of former CEO Phillipe Gurdjian, has in recent years become a venue of choice for Formula One tyre development testing and was the logical home for the return of Formula One to its spiritual home of France.

Redevelopment of the Paul Ricard circuit was initially focused on the venue hosting racing testing and development programmes. Succesful completion of this objective came in the form of the FIA awarded the circuit as First Centre of Excellence for Motor Sport Safety. This recognition comes in part due to the layout of the circuit, it’s approach to run off areas and ability to sustainably simulate dynamic weather situations. As mentioned in an early article here on JWGP available here.

Whilst the venue’s approach to vehicle safety, through large tarmac covered run-off areas, perfectly lends itself to performance testing, minimising the risk of a driver being penalised for on-track errors and will likely lead to teams pushing the boundaries of track limits throughout the Grand Prix weekend. Coupled with this, the current philosophy surrounding Formula One aerodynamics have left many well informed observers to suggest overtaking will be somewhat of a challenge through the race:

With this in mind Formula One is at risk of a fourth successive event in which on track excitement looks set to be minimal. But worry not, there is a solution! As mentioned the Paul Ricard HTTT (High Tech Test Track) has a visionary trick up its sleeve, under the guidance of previous circuit owner Bernie Ecclestone and more recently his ex-wife Slavica, the circuit has an inbuilt sprinkler system.

The system is capable of simulating a multitude of wet weather scenarios at the touch of a button. Formula One returning to France and Paul Ricard offers owners Liberty Media the ability to bring to life the long-promised proposal from Mr Ecclestone to spice up Formula One through the use of sprinklers! (check out some of  his other proposals here)

Of course, with no announcement of such trial being made prior to the race weekend, Liberty Media will have to manufacture a scenario in which the magic sprinkler system can be activated by mistake thus creating global media coverage for an otherwise uninspiring event.  Winne Harlow, what are you up to this weekend? 😉

Formula One: A new home for the French Grand Prix?

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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.

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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.