Paul Ricard looking to host 2018 pre-season tests


Paul Ricard, which hosted Pirelli tyre tests in 2016, are hoping to host pre-season tests in 2018 - Credit: Pirelli & C. S.p.A

Paul Ricard boss Stéphane Clair is hoping that the circuit can host some pre-season testing in 2018, as well as the first French Grand Prix since 2008

The circuit on the south coast of France last hosted a Grand Prix of its own back in 1990, but returns to the schedule in 2018 as part of an initial five-year contract, but Clair hopes that the track can also be used for some of the pre-season testing.

The Circuit de Catalunya in Spain will host the 2017 pre-season tests in February and March, with Paul Ricard having last run Formula 1 cars during 2016 as part of the Pirelli tyre-testing programme, with the circuit having a sprinkler system in place to be able test the wet and intermediate tyres.

“We would very much like to host pre-season testing in 2018,” said Clair on f1i.com. “Our track is particularly well suited for development work and the teams appreciate the quality of our facility.”

As well as the sprinkler system, Paul Ricard are also looking into developing a heated tarmac system in order to be able to negate the cooler conditions that usually hinder pre-season testing, while also being able to replicate some of the warmer conditions that will face teams and drivers during the season.