In 2018, the French Grand Prix returned to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since 2008.
It was a popular move as, after all, the words “Grand Prix” are French and this is the country credited with inventing the sport in the first place, hosting the first ever grand prix in 1906.
When the race was last held a decade ago, it was at the Magny Circuit in central France. Now it is held at the Paul Ricard Circuit, also known as Le Castellet, which previously hosted the race from 1971 to 1990.
The track and its facilities have been substantially upgraded since then and it has been a popular venue for testing (non-F1) because of its mild weather in winter and multiple layouts.
The F1 venues in France
The French Grand Prix has been held at seven venues in total, with Magny-Cours hosting it the most often (18 times,) followed by Paul Ricard (16) Reims (11,) Rouen (5,) Clermont-Ferrand (4) and Le Mans once.
The final race at Magny-Cours was won by Felipe Massa, who retired from F1 at the end of 2017 and the last winner at the Paul Ricard circuit was Alain Prost, the only Frenchman to win the World Championship, something he did four times in fact.
The 2019 French Grand Prix, held at the Paul Ricard circuit which takes its name from the famous French drink, was won by Lewis Hamilton. In 2020, the race was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.