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We must save the GP soldier from France
In the big game of Grand Prix negotiations, France is under pressure. Faced with the growing internationalization of the sport (South Africa is expected to return with Kyalami), the wave of interest in the US that resulted in the creation of a grand prix in Miami and then in Las Vegas, the millions that poured in from the Middle East, with guaranteed races for the next 15 years, several European races are under pressure as there will not be room for everyone. In the game of supply and demand, F1, which has returned to being hyper “bankable”, can up the ante.
If Monaco is highlighted for its inadequate layout for modern F1 and pressed for its financial privileges, the French Grand Prix is just as much, if not more. Returning to Le Castellet in 2018, the Grand Prix failed to establish itself on the calendar, due to a catastrophic organization in the first year and, since then, due to a lack of interest from the drivers and the races that took place there, even if the edition 2021 was good. Deficient in the means of access and an atypical track whose immense abrasive launches are judged by some as a brake on the show, Le Castellet is more than ever in the hot seat.
Cool, the chef’s surprise?
For several months now, rumors have been rife. To save the national GP, the idea of an alternation has started to gain ground, as the calendar, which is expected to stabilize on the 23-24 dates, is very tight and other projects have high priority in France. But now Stefano Domenicali has dropped a little bombshell in the columns of the team: not only is the French Grand Prix not dead yet, but it could continue to be transferred to Nice!
“You probably don’t know, but there is an amazing project with Nice, who wants a Grand Prix, says Stefano Domenicali. It’s great, because it proves that other destinations in your country are interested in F1. Let’s analyze the files and study them. carefully. There are other things that could happen very soon. All I can say is that by the end of July you will know more about the future of your Grand Prix.”
Christian Estrosi, mayor of the city of Riviera, did not deny the information. We can already imagine a route towards the Promenade des Anglais and around the Place Masséna! Nice has the potential to be a host of choice: reputation and brand image of the Côte d’Azur in the world, hotel capacity, the 2. fans.
How should we interpret this hole? Isn’t Nice’s proximity to Monaco also a way of putting pressure on the Monegasque race, whose future is also up in the air? Another urban circuit, which would join Jeddah, Miami, Las Vegas, Baku or even the semi-urban areas of Montreal and Melbourne?
A grand prize in Nice? already existed!
In any case, if Nice was never on the F1 calendar, the city of the Côte d’Azur has a history in motorsport and has already hosted a motorsport Grand Prix before the war and immediately after the war, at a time when urban circuits were very common and many French cities have had their test, such as rival Marseille. The race was organized by Nice Motorsport between 1932 and 1935 with prestigious names on the list: Louis Chiron, Tazio Nuvolari and Achille Varzi. After the war, two other editions took place in 1946 and 1947. The circuit passed through the Promenade des Anglais and the Albert 1er garden, then was extended to the Quai des Etats-Unis.