Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly in support of the French GP

Daniel Ricciardo spoke about the joy he felt in life at his National GP after a two-year absence. Inevitably, a week after the announcement of Vegas for 2023 and a fortnight after Jeddah, the idea was strong to ask the two French drivers what they think about the possibility of seeing France disappear from this mammoth calendar that will shape Formula 1. is still under construction. its European bases.

The old routes that pay less in the viewfinder

Paul-Ricard’s contract, which started in 2018, does indeed expire this season. And even if the organization does everything it can to expand, it is clear that with 23 races already on the schedule and the likely return of China next year as well as the certain arrival of Las Vegas, it will be necessary to update the existing calendar. skip. By first tapping into the old routes that pay less and whose contracts are expiring (this year Spa, France and Monaco).

“I want to do everything I can to keep it on the calendar, began Esteban Ocon. When I arrived in F1, we no longer had a French GP. I was able to experience the excitement when F1 returned to our country. I have had so many fun moments with the fans. I’m not pleased to hear that he’s being threatened. †

“I want to feel that support this summer and finally have a full racing experience at home and for years to come. †

A feeling shared by his Norman compatriot Pierre Gasly. “I am French and I will fight for my race, continued the pilot Alpha Tauri. The energy that Ricciardo speaks to all his country that drives him, it is a feeling that you only experience at home. The pandemic has taken that away from us at Esteban. I want to feel that support this summer and finally have a full racing experience at home and for years to come. If it were up to me, I would go see Stefano (Domenicali, Formula 1 boss) to sign the contract immediately. Unfortunately, it’s not me who decides…”

Sebastian Vettel closed the discussion like a wise old man, recalling the importance of history in his sport. “We have discovered fantastic circuits, such as Austin, which allowed America to rediscover F1, or Singapore, where the first night race was born, defended the German. We can only stay on the old tracks, but we also have to respect them, even if they pay much less. Perhaps by alternating them in order to survive…”

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