Which driver holds the record for French Grand Prix wins? Which team has scored the most points in Le Castellet? And who failed to finish at the track for five consecutive years? Here’s Circuit Paul Ricard in numbers!
Ronnie Peterson took the first of his ten Formula 1 victories at Circuit Paul Ricard in 1973. Frenchman Francois Cevert finished over 40 seconds behind the Lotus driver in second.
A driver starting from lower than seventeenth on the grid has scored points on just two occasions at the Paul Ricard track. Jacques Laffite finished sixth for Williams in 1983 from nineteenth on the grid, while Philippe Streiff also finished sixth in 1987. He’d started from 25th on the grid, but still managed to score a point. Streiff’s charge was helped by a multitude of retirements in the race; every driver who started between tenth and 23rd on the grid retired on that day!
Three drivers have recorded DNSs at the Paul Ricard track – Nanni Galli in 1971 and François Migault in 1975 both failed to start, while Nigel Mansell was injured in 1985. He crashed in qualifying, striking his head on one of the poles holding up the catch fencing, causing a concussion. It wasn’t the first time the Brit had been injured here – he retired after six laps in 1983 after suffering immense pain due to his foot being run over by his own car whilst being pushed by his team before the race.
It was an all French podium at the French Grand Prix in 1982 – in fact, the top four finishers were all French. This was also the only time that the top three qualifiers have finished on the podium at the track, as well as it being the only time the top three have finished in the order in which they started.
Thierry Boutsen holds the record for the most DNFs at Circuit Paul Ricard. The Belgian failed to be classified in five consecutive races here between 1986 and 1990.
Alain Prost won his home race six times through his career, with four wins at Circuit Paul Ricard. His record for most home victories was overtaken by Lewis Hamilton in 2020.
Michael Schumacher shares the record for most race victories at a single event. He won the French Grand Prix eighth times, but never had the opportunity to race at Circuit Paul Ricard in his F1 career. He took eight victories at the French Grand Prix when it was held at the Magny Cours circuit.
Ferrari have scored more points at this track than any other team, with 97 points from their sixteen appearances. Such is the inflation of the scoring system between 1990 and F1’s return to the track in 2018, that Mercedes now have almost as many as tally from their first two appearances!
With its uniquely blue and red run-off areas and multiple layouts, Circuit Paul Ricard can look like a maze from above! In total, there are 167 different possible configurations of the track, ranging from 0.8km to 5.2 km.
James Hunt scored 179 points during his Formula 1 career. He scored his last four career points at Circuit Paul Ricard in 1978, with his 23rd and final podium finish.
Alain Prost has led the most laps of any driver at Circuit Paul Ricard, and is the only driver to have led upward of 200 laps here. If a driver other than Hamilton or Raikkonen leads a lap in the 2021 race, they’ll become the 20th driver to have led a race at the track.
The 1996 French Grand Prix, held at the Magny Cours track, was the last time a Formula 1 race didn’t feature a driver who had been crowned World Champion. Michael Schumacher, who qualified on pole, failed to start the race due to engine problems. Future champions Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve and Mika Hakkinen all finished in the top five, though.