Born July 9, 1909 in Marseille, Paul Ricard, from a household of bakers and wine retailers, didn’t wait lengthy earlier than going into enterprise.
After having met a distiller at the age of 12, he confided in him the secret of the recipe for pastis at 60 ° 5.
At the age of 17, he left highschool and developed his personal recipe along with his brother, the outcome of tons of of makes an attempt at mixing liquorice and Provençal vegetation, earlier than incorporating star anise and inexperienced anise.
As we all know, the man will make a fortune by creating the model that bears his identify. But what does this must do with motor racing?
Paul Ricard needs his racing circuit
In 1962, Paul Ricard had an aerodrome constructed, sensible for his enterprise and his quite a few journeys, it can additionally make it simpler to serve the west of the Var and facilitate the set up of buyers.
On this thousand hectare land, ideally situated between Marseille and Toulon, Paul Ricard has different ambitions. He needs his top-notch racing circuit and has it drawn by pilots.
Henri Pescarolo and Jean-Pierre Beltoise take part in the growth of the route. It will take 300 days to create this 5.810 km observe.
On April 18, 1970, a contemporary circuit, on and comprising an immense straight line of 1,800 meters, was inaugurated.
A legendary circuit
The following yr, in 1971, the Formula 1 French Grand Prix put down its baggage at Le Castellet. We attend the most stunning races and the most stunning duels.
Like the Alain Prost-René Arnoux rivalry in 1982, and even with Ayrton Senna. Later, it was a sure Jean Alesi who made his Formula One debut there in 1989 with an surprising fourth place.
Last weekend Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton struggled till the final lap for the win. A grand prize that would not have taken place …
How do you arrange a grand prize in the center of Covid?
We have been capable of meet Éric Boullier, organizer of the French GP, on Friday morning, simply earlier than the first exams. A former motorsport engineer, Éric Boullier rose via all the ranks, till he grew to become supervisor of the prestigious McLaren group. Today, he’s in cost of organizing this grand prix underneath particular circumstances.
“My training as an engineer above all taught me to adapt constantly. It is ultimately quite useful in the role I play today ”he confides to us.
When requested what’s extra difficult between profitable McLaren or organizing a grand prix, the reply just isn’t lengthy in coming: “Today, on the eve of the Grand Prix, I would tell you that it is also complicated, especially this year… ”
Covid, cancellation, change of date, nothing is spared at the GP of France
It is true that after a cancellation final yr on account of a well being disaster, nothing was received for the 2021 season. The proof is a change of date determined simply six weeks earlier than the occasion.
An actual logistical problem for the group: “An F1 grand prix means 20 people over the year and 2,500 the week of the event. We are responsible for our event but not for our date. We apply to be registered, but the date is never guaranteed. A cascade of events resulted in this single solution, to shift the French event. Between accommodation constraints, impossible dates such as July 14 or the summer period, logistics to give the teams time to transport their equipment, that was the only solution. ”
What is the influence of the Covid on the Grand Prix?
“The impact is easy to calculate, we have a tonnage of 65,000 people in normal times and this weekend it will be 15,000. I let you imagine. But we had anticipated last year by planning a gauge of 15,000, which allowed us to reduce our costs by sizing this grand prix accordingly. But the impact is obviously huge. ”
However, there are causes to be comfortable, at a time when France is rediscovering F1: “F1 has evolved. Today we consume the media in a different way. F1 has opened, we discover it on social networks. New generations discover F1 on Netflix. Let us not forget either the current form of the French pilots. Pierre Gasly who becomes a hero, that means that people are interested ”, provides Éric Boullier.
Does the French Grand Prix have a future?
“The future of the Grand Prix will be secure the day we have two signatures at the bottom of the contract. There is one year of contract left and the FOM has a simple strategy. We start talking just after the penultimate Grand Prix, that’s their way of discussing. At least that has the merit of putting pressure on us! We are therefore going to start talking about it at the end of this weekend, ”provides Éric Boullier.