Boullier takes charge at the French GP

© XPB 

Former McLaren and Lotus boss Eric Boullier has been appointed to the position of managing director of the French Grand Prix, it was confirmed on Monday.

Boullier had previously been working as the event's strategic sports and operational advisor, as well as being a global ambassador for the race.

The new role will see him reporting directly to the chairman of the race promotion company, Christian Estrosi, the local politician who spearheaded the event's return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2018.

"I am happy and proud to be more involved in this beautiful project that is the Formula 1 Grand Prix de France," Boullier said after the announcement. "I look forward to continuing to contribute to the success of this great motor sport event on French soil.

"I would like to thank Christian Estrosi and the GIP Grand Prix de France – Le Castellet for their trust," he added.

Boullier played an active role in helping bring F1 to the Circuit Paul Ricard. However, there have been complaints that the two races since then have been boring and lacked interest, leading to plans to revamp the layout.

Modifications have been proposed to the first sector to add more overtaking opportunities and help promote closer racing, but the FIA is yet to sign off on the changes. The laying of new track is thought to require as a little as four days work.

“We have sent our proposal to the FIA in order to obtain the homologation,” Boullier said according to French publication L’Equipe.

“The idea is to avoid the Esses de la Verrerie and make a second straight line that will force the teams to use less downforce, encouraging overtaking."

Spectators attending the race have also complained about problems getting to the site because of poor local transport infrastructure.

Top of Boullier's in-tray when he reports for his first day in his new role will be a revised mobility plan that builds on the park-and-ride-system put in place last year, which saw buses shuttling fans in from nearby towns.

Eric Boullier (FRA). 23.06.2019.

"There's going to be very affordable and very good options if you don’t want to take your car, and just want to enjoy the Grand Prix without any traffic issues," pledged Boullier.

Organisers have promised to expand the scheme and add services from Marseille, Toulon and Aix-en-Provence throughout the whole event..

Shuttles will also run from Arles, Avignon, Draguignan, Gap-Tallard, Manosque, Nice, Saint-Raphael and Salon de Provence on the Saturday and Sunday.

Race day will see more services from Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, Montpellier, Perpignan and Valence and have also added links outside france with from Barcelona, Milan, Turin, Amsterdam and Eindhoven..

"The traffic routes, the layout of the parking areas as well as the information system set up in 2019 will be improved upon," the organisers added. The existing campsite will also be extended.

Boullier himself promised that there would be no traffic problems in 2020. “We had some mobility issues in the first year, which we have fixed now - totally eradicated," he insisted.

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