Modifications to Paul Ricard layout ahead of F1 return

Organisers of the French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard have confirmed a number of track modifications ahead of its return to the Formula 1 calendar later this year.

The venue was confirmed as host of the French GP last year along with the chosen layout, which will include the Sud/Nord chicane on the long back straight, making a total of 15 corners and a length of 5.861km.

However some modifications have been approved by the FIA ahead of its debut which include tightening Turn 1, which will make the corner slightly slower on entry, widening the entry of Turn 5 and tweaking the Turn 14/15 complex.

The biggest change will come at Turn 12 with an entirely new corner being laid which bypasses the original corner, making it a sweeping left-hander aimed at increasing overtaking.

Circuit boss Stéphane Clair hopes the modifications will be completed and homologated in early-February, with the Grand Prix set for June 24.

Meanwhile work on updating and extending the press room and paddock continue, along with installing additional grandstands to cater for 90,000+ spectators.

France has not hosted a Formula 1 race since 2008, when the event was held at Magny-Cours.