It’s finally here, the one we’ve been waiting for all season! The home race, the first one in 10 years, the 2018 Grand Prix de France! We’ve trained, we’ve researched, we’ve jammed packed our schedule so well, the entire marketing team has been dispatched to cover all activities and look after our many (many, many, many, many) guests.
Circuit Paul Ricard is relatively unknown to the modern Formula 1 world, as the last Grand Prix held there was 28 years ago. Extensive study enabled us to identify the winner, a lovely gent named Alain. He was quite good, we hear, and won SIX French Grands Prix in total. If only we could track him down to have a chat...
Having exhausted our resident quadruple World Champion with many Travel Guide-related questions, we move on to our demo team. It turns out they know the circuit fairly well, as we run our driving experiences there. They describe a picturesque landscape, nestled within the hills of the Côte d’Azur region, where the sun shines hot and a stiff sea wind provides cooling. We think it’s the pastis talking.
Getting to the track is an adventure in itself. It’s Hairpin City as you twist and turn and dip and dive through the twisty hill passes. Leave the aperitifs well alone, keep both hands on the wheel, channel your inner Carlos Sainz Sr and may the best hire car win.
Once recovered from the rollercoaster-like drive in, take a break and visit the legendary OK Corral theme park nearby for an actual rollercoaster ride. We have absolutely no idea what this place entails, or how it got there. Witnesses speak of an eerie, deserted, random, wild west town hidden amongst the trees. Go check it out and report back please, we’re intrigued.
Activities are in abundance at the circuit, but what’s the number one choice on offer? How about driving a REAL Formula 1 car? Yes, dreams do come true at Paul Ricard! But if a bit of hearty V8 horsepower is too overwhelming, try out the Xtreme Park at the circuit instead for some rock-climbing, or go-karting, or quad-biking. The possibilities are endless!
Should you need a break, nearby towns include Toulon, famous for its port and highly successful rugby team which attracts the world’s biggest names, as well as Bandol, La Ciotat and of course, the city of Marseille.
Marseille is in fact the oldest city in France and was founded by Greek sailors in 600BC who ventured over from the town of Phocaea. Cyril knows the city very well and when he’s not making waves politically, he’s catching them on his windsurf board out on the Mediterranean.
Back on land, over the Grand Prix weekend, you can soak up the F1 atmosphere at the Fan Festival in Marseille. Bring your ear plugs, and get a taste of the V8 roar as we have pencilled in Franck Montagny to demo the E20 on Friday 22 June!
Whatever you choose to get up to for this one, it’s going to be a blast, and we cannot wait for the action at our home race to kick-off. Bring. It. On.
We reach the end of this travel blog with no mention of food, a first for us! Fear not, here it comes as we let you in on one little secret…the tarte tropézienne at the circuit is the best around, just ask Third & Reserve Driver Jack Aitken. He basically lives off it whenever he’s at the track (but you didn’t hear that from us)!