Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s Daniel Ricciardo says he hopes the return of the French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Ricard will provide a good race for the French fans.
Formula 1 returns to France for the first time since 2008, last hosted at the Circuit de Nevers Magny Cours. The venue, Paul Ricard hasn’t hosted an F1 race since 1990, will welcome back the sport around the 3.6 mile circuit.
Most of the drivers have experienced the track before from their junior careers but not with the Formula 1 layout that they’ll use for the race next Sunday, and Riccardo himself last drove around the track in a wet weather test but not around the current layout.
Looking ahead to the event at France, Ricciardo says he hopes the team can find the balance for the circuit and acknowledges the technical corners the circuit will throw at for the drivers.
“I have raced at Paul Ricard but I don’t know what configuration we will be using compared to back then,” said Ricciardo.
“We’ve come from two street races with Monaco and Montreal, where the risk and reward is a lot higher than at Paul Ricard, which is a pretty open circuit. As far as adrenaline goes, it’s probably a bit more mellow than the last few tracks but if the racing is good then it makes up for it, so hopefully we will get that balance.
“There are some long technical corners, which aren’t always that fun, but they’re a challenge and if you get them right you appreciate it. The track will also allow some variations in driving technique and style, which could make it interesting. It can get quite windy, so down the back straight there could be some slip streaming and good overtaking opportunities.”
Ricciardo says that the return of the Grand Prix in France is cool for the calendar and hopes the French fans are treated to a good race.
“It’s cool having a French Grand Prix back on the calendar and fingers crossed it provides a good race not only for the French fans but the rest of the world,” said the Australian. “Maybe I will even speak perfect French by the end of the weekend as it’s been a month of French speaking races.”