Today’s state-of-the-art venue may be new to younger F1 fans, but Le Castellet can trace its F1 origins back to the early 1970s, when it held the first of its 14 French Grands Prix to date.
The circuit had been mainly used exclusively for testing, its multi-configuration layout proved popular with F1 teams and set new standards in safety, pioneering the use of painted run-off areas instead of traditional gravel traps.
In 2007, the Paul Ricard HTTT was designated First centre of excellence by the FIA Institute for safety in motorsport. It opened its doors to the public again in 2009 after the construction of a new grandstand and since then has hosted several major championships.
In 2016 a deal was struck to return the French Grand Prix to the track, and prior to its 2018 revival numerous modifications have been made to both the circuit and its setting to ensure a suitably stern challenge for the drivers and an equally thrilling spectacle for race fans.
Russell is one of the few drivers on the grid to have racing experience at the circuit, from his experience in FIA Formula 3 European Championship in 2016.
Round 5: Races 9-10
22-24 June, 2018