Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen says the Paul Ricard circuit will be a challenge as he’ll race around the track for the first time in his racing career.
Formula 1 will return to France for the French Grand Prix for the first time since 2008, and will race at Paul Ricard for the first time since 1990. The track has been used as a test venue in the past, but often used in junior categories with a minority of the Formula 1 grid raced around the track in the past.
Verstappen has never raced at the 3.6 mile circuit before in his young racing career, but has completed a wet weather test around the track but not around the current configurations that F1 will use on for the Grand Prix.
Looking ahead of the Grand Prix, Verstappen said that it’ll be a challenge to visit a new track, especially to one where younger drivers have experienced racing around before.
“I have never actually raced at Paul Ricard so it will be a new track for me” said Verstappen. “I did the wet weather test there but we only used a few of the same corners and after that they changed the layout a little bit.
“It’s always a challenge going to a new circuit and I’m looking forward to it. I think lots of drivers actually haven’t driven there, only the younger drivers in lower formulas, not myself, but the other ones have all driven there.”
The new venue will provide drivers long straights, multiple chicanes and plenty of run-offs if any error occurs over the weekend. With the fast corners and straights, Verstappen believes that the track will be mainly a power circuit but admits it’s all unknown until they start driving.
“It’s quite close to home, I’m looking forward to seeing a new Grand Prix weekend and I think it’s also good to have a race in France as there are many fans there,” Verstappen continued.
“From what I have seen it is a power track with long straights but there are still a few corners in there where we can make a difference, it’s all a bit unknown, so we will have to see when we get there.”