When Paul Ricard enjoyed its F1 baptism of fire


After establishing itself in the past at Reims, Rouen and Clermont-Ferrand, the French Grand Prix moved to the Circuit Paul Ricard in July 1971.

Built and financed by eponymous pastis magnate Paul Ricard, the new-generation's innovative facility offered the most advanced safety features ever seen in motorsport and an impressive pit complex that set the standard for future venues.

The circuit's infrastructure, multiple layouts and mild weather instantly made 'Le Castellet' a popular destination among racing teams for testing during the off-season.

As for the track's inaugural F1 race, the 1971 French Grand Prix was a one-man show, with Tyrrell's Jackie Stewart rocketing off the grid from pole, never to be caught, the great Scot capturing his fifteenth Grand Prix win.