Magny-Cours better than Paul Ricard – Lewis Hamilton

Credit: Daimler AG

Lewis Hamilton has expressed doubts about the track layout at Paul Ricard, which is set to host its first grand prix¬†since 1990 when the French Grand Prix makes its return to Formula 1’s European calendar in June. Hamilton went on to argue that Magny-Cours – which hosted the last French Grand Prix in 2008 – would have been a better venue for the race.

When speaking to Canal+ Sport in December, the reigning champion confessed his ambivalent feelings about the 5.8km Le Castellet circuit. “Honestly I don’t like it, just to be straight with you. I loved it when we used to have the grand prix in Magny-Cours. [Paul Ricard] is in a beautiful place, but the track, when I say I don’t like it, it’s not as great as Magny-Cours.

“I think the most important thing is that we do have a grand prix back in France because it’s an important part of Europe, it’s an important part of the European tour. France has so many beautiful, beautiful circuits – Le Mans, for example – and for some reason we don’t have it at the most beautiful track.

Perhaps surprisingly for a staple European venue, Hamilton has never raced at Paul Ricard, however, he has conducted a test at the circuit, driving his Mercedes W08 as part of Pirelli’s tyre test programme in September. Hamilton took part in two French Grands Prix at Magny-Cours, a circuit that has the distinction of being one of only four circuits the Brit has raced on in F1 without collecting victory.