French GP Race Rotation ‘On The Table’ – Jean Alesi

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Renault F1 Team RS19.
French Grand Prix, Friday 21st June 2019. Paul Ricard, France.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Renault F1 Team RS19.
French Grand Prix, Friday 21st June 2019. Paul Ricard, France.

Renewed rumours about two circuits alternating single annual calendar spots in Formula 1 are giving hope to axed French GP host Paul Ricard.

As the sport’s calendar aggressively expanded, some traditional hosts including France and Germany were priced out of the market.

Former race host Hockenheim is now hopeful that talks with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali about a race alternating idea could revive the German GP.

“We would only tie up the enormous resources needed to hold a Formula 1 race every two years whilst retaining the image and status of a Formula 1 circuit,” Hockenheim boss Jorn Teske told Auto Bild.

“In that respect it is absolutely ideal.”

And now, former F1 driver and new Paul Ricard president Jean Alesi also sounds very keen on the race rotation idea.

“Perhaps now in Europe there will be a new way of having F1,” the Frenchman said on the Eurosport program Les Fous du Volant, “with one country alternating with another.

“It will also help to save money,” Alesi added. “Maybe Spa or an Austrian GP or Imola will alternate with us.

“Everything is on the table.”

The former Ferrari driver says the biggest problem with France’s F1 demise was not purely financial, but also political.

“In Formula 1 today there are 32 countries asking to have grands prix,” Alesi revealed. “But there are only 23 grands prix.

“So F1 has people almost on their knees in front of them saying ‘please, please come – we welcome you with open arms’. But that is not the case in France,” he smiled.

“In the last five years, apart from the covid year of course, we had a very successful grand prix that was nonetheless shunned by our politicians.

“I’m not talking about in the region, because it’s thanks to them that F1 was able to come back. But not having a president on a Formula 1 grid is frowned upon today,” said Alesi.

“Now, it’s normal when you go to any grand prix that if it isn’t the king there then it’s the prime minister. So if we don’t have the president, it’s wrong.

“Everyone else uses F1 to convey the image of their country.”

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