NOVEMBER 10, 1997
One of the projects was the construction in 1969 of his own racing circuit on the rocky plateau behind Bandol, close to his village. This was opened in 1970 and for many years was considered to be the safest motor racing facility in the world. It had facilities which were years ahead of its time and it became a major winter testing location in addition to being the home of the French Grand Prix on 14 occasions between 1971 and 1990. In the late 1980s Pernod-Ricard was also a sponsor of the Brabham F1 team.
Ricard enjoyed a variety of other interests. He owned two private islands (Bendor and Embiez) off the Provence coast, where he collected plants and works of art. He established his own Institute of Oceanography and Ecological Museum at Six-Fours-les-Plages and even dabbled in rice-growing in the Camargue region near Marseilles.