FIA open to removing Paul Ricard chicane

The FIA is receptive to the idea of using Paul Ricard’s full Mistral Straight at future French Grands Prix, should a convincing enough argument be made.

Formula 1 returned to France after a decade-long absence, with Paul Ricard selected as the venue, the first time the circuit had been used by the championship since 1990.

The 5.8km circuit features an array of potential layouts, and Formula 1 opted to use the 5.8km venue, with the North Chicane adopted to break up the lengthy Mistral Straight.

Drivers had suggested during the build-up to the event that the chicane scuppered overtaking opportunities, though several were able to either out-brake opponents or use DRS to make a move.

Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting commented that “if there is a strong enough argument” then the full Mistral Straight could be used in future years, and explained why the current layout was applied.

“It was a joint decision that was proposed by the circuit and we saw no reason to use anything different,” he said.

“We wanted to have two long DRS zones which I think appeared to work quite well on the back straight.

“I know there appears to be a school of thought that we could have done without it but all the teams and drivers have known about it for a long time and tested on that track so I was a little surprised to hear that come out of the blue on Friday.