F1's French Connection


McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari are heading to France this week to participate in a Pirelli wet weather tyre test at Paul Ricard Circuit - a 3.61-mile, 14-turn venue located near Marseille that last hosted a Formula One Grand Prix in 1990.

After that year all the French Grand Prixs that followed were held at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in central France.

But there hasn't been any Formula One race held in France at all since June 22 2008. That swansong GP was won by Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who had started from second and managed to get the better of his team mate and polesitter Kimi Raikkonen during the race. The Finn had to be content with the runners-up position instead.

However the real star of the day turned out to be an Italian: Jarno Trulli (pictured above) started the race from fifth place and ended up muscling his way onto the podium, the Toyota team's first top three finish in over two years.

Sadly, the line-up of Massa, Raikkonen and Trulli proved to be the final Formula One podium in France to date - but hopefully there will be more to come in the not-too-distant future.

Maybe the event could even return to the refurbished Paul Ricard Circuit, which in its years of active service saw wins for the likes of Jackie Stewart, Ronnie Peterson, Niki Lauda, James Hunt, Mario Andretti, Alan Jones, René Arnoux, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell.