There will doubtless be no shortage of intensity at the sharp end of the French Grand Prix but away from a tight title fight, for many in France it will be an unashamedly emotional affair. For Jacques Laffite, the race’s return to the Formula One calender after a 10-year absence and at the Paul Ricard circuit has special resonance. A pleasure amplified by the joie de vivre the former F1 driver derives from Lewis Hamilton’s performances.
France hosted the first grand prix in 1906 and had held 86 further meetings by its last race in 2008 at Magny-Cours. Unsurprisingly a decade on there is a celebratory air at Paul Ricard, which hosted the race 14 times between 1971 and 1990. Laffite knows it well, the charismatic 74-year-old raced at the track in his heyday when driving for Ligier, taking six wins.
Written by Giles Richards at Paul Ricard
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jun/22/xx under the title “The French GP is back: ‘We love F1 here, its return is good for everybody’”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.