While we are in the middle of F1's now traditional summer break, it's perhaps a good time to reflect on the sport's return to France.
Located in the South East corner of France, Paul Ricard was the site of 14 French Grands Prix before 2018. Back in the 1970s the course was built and named after French alcohol tycoon, Paul Ricard.
The first Grand Prix was held in 1971 and won by Formula 1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart.
Till 1984 the circuit was rotated with other French circuits for certain years, but it saw no less than two French winners. One of whom was none other than the great Alain Prost, who won at Paul Ricard a record four times.
The last Grand Prix was held in 1990 and won by Prost. Till 1999 it was used mainly for motorcycle racing, and amateur car racing. The track was then sold to a company owned by then Formula 1 executive Bernie Eccelstone.
Eccelstone renovated the track into a high-tech test circuit and opened numerous other facilities to accompany it, including a landing strip, a high-tech karting track, and several other amenities.
The deal to return to Paul Ricard was cemented in 2016, and for the last two years the circuit has been preparing to deliver a thrilling and challenging race for spectators and drivers alike. While many of the drivers on the grid had driven here on other occasions, few drivers experienced the circuit for the first time during the 2018 race.
by Surya Gopalan