Ocon hopes for French GP move to Le Mans

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Ocon hopes for French GP move to Le Mans

Formula 1

Ocon hopes for French GP move to Le Mans


Esteban Ocon believes a French Grand Prix at Le Mans would be “awesome” if the race needs to find a new home to stay on the Formula 1 calendar.

This weekend’s event at Paul Ricard is the last of the current contract and there doesn’t appear to be any possibility of a new deal being agreed that would keep the race on the schedule. Ocon has spoken with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali about the future of his home race, and wants Le Mans to be a candidate moving forward.

“Of course Formula 1 has a high demand at the moment, we all know — many different countries are asking for [a] grand prix to take place in their country and we can’t be at every place, unfortunately,” Ocon said. “There’s still rumors, what I hear, still nothing certain — I had a chat with Stefano and saw what he said in the press.

“My point is that yes, France has a place in Formula 1, we say ‘grand prix’ everywhere we go, that’s French; we have a huge motorsport community and car community in general. If it’s not in Ricard for the future I’m sure there’d be other places happy to hold a French Grand Prix and if there are conversations going for the future, I will be part of that and will push the maximum to make it happen.

“Stefano talked about Nice, which would definitely be a great place to have a street circuit; we also have Le Mans, a great venue. Of course the track would need a lot of work … (but) a proper Le Mans race with Formula 1, just a show, would be quite impressive.”

Ocon believes there are a number of venues that could host a grand prix in France but says Le Mans is the most likely in his view.

“I think we have multiple options. I don’t think around Paris is realistic with the way the people there are running the area. There are multiple options, street circuits that could work, some nice tracks that could work, of course Magny-Cours is a bit hard to get to, but yeah, the more realistic one I thought about is definitely Le Mans. Le Mans as a French Grand Prix could be awesome.”

The Frenchman doesn’t believe the rumors of interest from Nice are solely designed to put pressure on Monaco, as talks continue regarding the principality’s future.

“If that’s been mentioned it means the people organizing from here (at Paul Ricard) also have control over Nice. I don’t believe it’s just to say thank you French Grand Prix and see you later. I think if it’s been mentioned it means there’s been discussions and it’s possible.”

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