Circuit Paul Ricard Weather - Var, FR
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The Circuit Paul Ricard is a French motorsport race track built in 1969 at Le Castellet, Var, near Marseille, with finance from pastis magnate Paul Ricard. Ricard wanted to experience the challenge of building a racetrack. The circuit has hosted the FIA Formula One French Grand Prix intermittently from 1971 to 2022.
The track is characterised by its 1.8 km (1.1 mi) long Mistral straight and elongated track design. The track is also unusual in that it is built on a plateau: it is very flat. In 1986 the track was modified to shorten the circuit, by adding shortcut through to the middle of the Mistral Straight. This shorter circuit was also known as the GP short circuit and was 3.812 km (2.369 mi) long. After the modifications in 2000–2005, the track offers 247 possible configurations from 0.828 km (0.514 mi) to the full 5.858 km (3.640 mi). The track’s elevation ranges from 408 to 441 m (1,339 to 1,447 ft) above sea level. Its flexibility and mild winter weather mean that it is used for testing by several motorsport teams, including Formula One teams.
The track is known for its distinctive black and blue run-off areas known as the Blue Zone. The runoff surface consists of a mixture of asphalt and tungsten, used instead of gravel traps, as common at other circuits. A second, deeper run-off area is the Red Zone, with a more abrasive surface designed to maximize tyre grip and hence minimize braking distance, although at the cost of extreme tyre wear. The final safeguard consists of Tecpro barriers, a modern improvement on tyre barriers.
In 2019 the pitlane entry was moved following safety concerns. The entry, which was previously accessed via the main straight, is now situated between the final two corners.