Circuit Paul Ricard

Castellet

Circuit Details

Location:
Castellet
Type: 
Race
Turns: 
14
Direction: 
Clockwise
Established: 
1 January, 1970 (All day)

Paul Ricard History
 

Its innovative facilities made it one of the safest motor racing circuits in the world at the time of its opening. The circuit had three track layout permutations, a large industrial park and an airstrip. The combination of modern facilities, mild winter weather and an airstrip made it popular amongst racing teams for car testing during the annual winter off-season.

The original track was dominated by the 1.8 km long Mistral Straight that is followed by the high-speed right hand Signes corner. The long main straight and other fast sections made the track very hard on engines as they ran at full revs for extended spells. Engine failures were common, such as Ayrton Senna's huge crash during the 1985 French Grand Prix after the Renault engine in his Lotus failed and he went off backwards at Signes and crashed heavily, fortunately with only light bruising to the driver. Nigel Mansell crashed at the same place in the same weekend during practice and suffered concussion which kept him out of the race. Mansell's crash was the result of a slow puncture in his left rear tyre causing it to explode at over 200 mph, which detached his Williams FW10's rear wing. The Honda powered FW10 holds the race lap record for the original circuit when Mansell's team mate Keke Rosberg recorded a time of 1:39.914 during the 1985 French Grand Prix.



Source: Wikipedia