Lewis Hamilton says he does not know what to expect from Formula 1’s return to Paul Ricard, but hopes the French Grand Prix will not prove to be a boring race. 

Relatively uneventful back-to-back races in Monaco and Canada led to criticism from fans and F1 drivers, with Fernando Alonso claiming this year’s Monaco Grand Prix was one of the most boring races in the history of the sport. 

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel - who reclaimed the championship lead with victory in Montreal - responded by calling F1’s critics “short-sighted” and compared less exciting races to the ongoing football World Cup, citing that some matches would be boring while others would be brilliant. 

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Hamilton previously criticised the decision for Paul Ricard - a track that has not featured on the calendar since 1990 - to host the French Grand Prix instead of Magny-Cours, which took over as the permanent home until the last grand prix in 2008. 

“I have really no idea. I don’t know what it’s going to provide. Is it going to be a boring race like here [Canada], or is it going to be an exciting one?” Hamilton said.

“Is it going to be one that’s like Baku? I couldn’t tell you. I have absolutely no idea. I hope for France it’s a great one, I really, really do hope it’s a great race.”

Additional DRS zones have been added to some circuits this year in a bid to promote overtaking, while the FIA has pushed through new aerodynamic regulations for 2019 to help cars follow one another and result in closer racing.

The Canadian Grand Prix, renowned for being the scene of many classic races in the past, saw less changes of position during the race than the previous round in Monte Carlo, and Hamilton said he was sad to hear the negative reaction in Montreal. 

“I’ve not watched these races so I don’t know what you guys feel,” he added. “I heard there was less overtakes [at the Canadian GP] than there was in Monaco and a couple of my friends said the most exciting part of the race was the crash at the beginning. 

“If that’s what Formula 1 is really about then that’s a little bit sad to hear because there’s so much more to it.”

Hamilton has never raced at the 5.8km track near Le Castellet but drove his title-winning Mercedes W08 at the Paul Ricard circuit in September last year as he carried out Pirelli tyre testing. 

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