French Grand Prix organisers respond after being axed from F1 2023 calendar

Henry Valantine
Le Castellet Paul Ricard French Grand Prix track lines. France July 2022 French GP

Le Castellet Paul Ricard track lines. France July 2022

Following confirmation from Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali that the French Grand Prix will drop off the calendar in 2023, organisers say they are keen to hold the race on a rotation system in the future.

The race’s contract expires at the end of the season and, after holding negotiations around its future, Formula 1 decided it will not be renewing the deal in place at Le Castellet from next year.

But Domenicali has not ruled out having the race back on the calendar in the future. Given the amount of interest in hosting grands prix, he acknowledged that switching between certain locations year on year could be on the cards.

He confirmed to reporters, as per Auto Hebdo: “We are discussing with the French Federation, and with the government, because more and more the future is linked to the promoters who see this as an investment for the country.

“So the discussions are very open for a good future. And as you know, one possibility could be to find some kind of rotation proposal that would allow everyone to be part of the calendar. Because I think it is a question of respect.”

A statement from organisers read: “The Formula 1 French Grand Prix takes note of recent statements made by Stefano Domenicali, President of Formula 1, regarding its absence from the calendar for the 2023 season.

“After the great success of its 2022 edition, the French Grand Prix, Formula 1 and all the stakeholders of the Grand Prix continue to work together on the presence of this event in the calendar for years to come, and in particular on a rotation system.

“The Formula 1 French Grand Prix would like to thank its clients, all the administrators from its GIP, the Circuit Paul Ricard and all its partners for their unfailing support.”


What is the future of the French Grand Prix?

It is not controversial to say that the races at Paul Ricard over the past few seasons have generally not been particularly exciting from a fan perspective, and rumours over its future on the calendar had been under the spotlight in the final year of its contract.

Put simply, at least one race was likely to make way on the 2023 calendar given the arrival of Qatar and Las Vegas next season, with as many as 24 races rumoured to be on the draft calendar for next year, and France happened to be on the chopping block on this occasion.

Domenicali said earlier in the year that the city of Nice has put forward an application to host a street race from the 2024 season – something which has been met with fierce opposition from locals – but it is likely to be a waiting game before finding out exactly how the ever-expanding calendar will take shape, and France’s role within that.