First of my articles on where stupid and F1 go hand in hand. This one is on the fact that there is no Grand Prix in France, despite Grand Prix being the french words for ‘Big Prize’ (do not argue with google translate) and the FIA being based there. Its ludicrous, and considering that the first ever Grand Prix was held in France (Pau Grand Prix) it just feels wrong that France doesn’t have one and a country that has no real interest in F1 like Bahrain does. There are many perfect venues for the race, a street race in Paris would be better received than Valencia and would please Bernie, a return to Magny Cours wouldn’t be bad in my books, it just needs a longer straight and a bit of widening, Paul Ricard could also hold it with its excellent facilities, long straight and good weather, there are of course many more places where a French GP could be held. To me it makes no sense that France gave us the Grand Prix, yet it cant have one. Some say that France is happy with Le Mans or its tour de bore, but surely France should be a protected race (I thought it was personally, until it was taken off the calendar) instead of a forgotten memory.
The problems lay with French first and foremost. They decided to axe Magny Course and at least 2 other viable projects were shot down (the track near Disneyland Paris and in Sarceless) due to environmental concerns.
Paul Ricard isn’t a good option as they decided to add several more configurations and hi-tech tarmac runoffs with slow-down stripes and tore down all the seating. Joe Saward often has good articles about the problem of French Grand Prix. He lives in France (when he isn’t traveling the world to go to the races) and he understands the problems behind it. I think this is his latest article about it – http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/why-france-is-colour-blind/