2018 French Grand Prix will hit 340 km/h

Simulations of the Paul Ricard circuit, which will host the first French GP since 2008, will see the new cars teach 343km/h (213mph) at 2 points on the 5.8km circuit.

Biancotto_arien circuit paul ricard32 copie

The selected layout will feature a chicane on the minstral straight with cats reaching 343km/h before this.

“The FIA did some research and the speed before the chicane will be 343km/h, so the chicane is useful,” said Gilles Dufeigneux (French Grand Prix’sGilles managing director).

“The chicane has been added to prevent the engines from running at full speed on a straight uphill line of 1.8km. We also wanted to facilitate the creation of an additional overtaking area.

“It will provide three straight lines where the cars can go at full speed before two massive decelerations – Turn 1 and Turn 8 and a flat out turn – Signes.

“According to the FIA, cars will reach 343km/h before the chicane and 343km/h at the apex of Signes. The drivers have told us the chicane will probably be an opportunity for non-DRS overtakes during the race.

“We presented the new configuration of the circuit during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend to several drivers including Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. They liked it and said the 5.8km configuration was a nice option.”

F1 last ran at Paul Ricard last year when 3 teams (Mclaren, Ferrari and Red Bull) did wet weather testing for Pirelli.

“With respect to the circuit itself, minor changes are needed,” added Arnaud Pericard.

“The FIA had an inspection visit a couple of months ago and it’s just minor changes with respect to the kerbs, which we’ll do this winter. “The circuit is already F1 graded for a long time, so it’s not a massive change. The most important investment will be the stands, they are a big deal.”

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