The French Grand Prix dates back to the earliest days of motorsport and the very first Grand Prix motor race was the 1906 French Grand Prix. The name of the race, “Grand Prix” translating as “Big Prize” proved to be true as the winner was presented with 45,000 Francs, equal to approximately 13 kilos of gold. This race has been held at seven different venues and Scuderia Ferrari has won it 17 times.
The Paul Ricard circuit first hosted the French Grand Prix in 1971, but Scuderia Ferrari had to wait for its first victory in the hills of the Var region until 1975, when Niki Lauda did the honours. Today, the track offers no fewer than 167 different configurations. Its most famous feature is the very long Mistral straight and the extremely high speed and challenging Signes corner: in the old days, journalists would spectate from there to listen out and decide which drivers were taking it flat out.
Scuderia Ferrari’s second win at Le Castellet came in 1990, with Alain Prost giving the Maranello team its one hundredth Formula 1 victory. The French Grand Prix had been absent from the calendar since 2008, when it returned at Le Castellet last year.