The topic of dropping the Mistral chicane from Paul Ricard’s layout for the 2019 French Grand Prix will be discussed between the FIA and Formula 1 drivers in Austria. 

Ahead of the weekend concerns about a lack of overtaking due to the choice of layout at Paul Ricard - featuring a chicane half way along the Mistral straight - were raised, with many drivers supporting the idea of removing the chicane for next season’s event when the subject was brought up during Friday’s drivers’ briefing. 

Fears of a boring race were eased on Sunday following a chaotic start, while a significant number of overtaking manoeuvres were completed at the Mistral chicane. Changes could not be made in time for this year’s race due to the circuit already being homologated for F1. 

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F1 race director Charlie Whiting revealed he was surprised to hear complaints about the chicane come “out of the blue” after a joint decision was taken over which track layout would be used for the first grand prix in France for a decade. 

"It was a joint decision,” Whiting explained. "It was what was proposed by the circuit, and we saw no reason to say anything different. We wanted to have two long DRS zones, which appeared to work quite well on the back straight.

"There appears to be now a school of thought that we could have done without it, but all the teams and drivers have known about that for a long time. The teams have tested on that track, so I was a little surprised to hear that come out of the blue on Friday.”

Whiting said he would like to hear drivers’ opinions now they have raced on the layout and is open to discussing the topic at the next gathering of drivers on Friday ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix. 

"We can certainly do a simulation of the long straight and see if the run-off area is sufficient and that sort of thing,” he added. “I would also like to hear the drivers' opinions now they've had a chance to race on it.

"We saw a few decent overtakes there, which I doubt we would have seen otherwise. It is a matter of opinion but I am happy to discuss it with all concerned on Friday night.”

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