Paul Ricard bids to host 2018 winter tests

Paul Ricard could be the scene of next year's official F1 winter testing.

The circuit in Le Castellet is returning to the calendar next year to revive the historic French grand prix.

But it emerges that the teams and drivers could also get their first taste of the 2018 cars at Paul Ricard as well.

When asked about the possibility of 2018 winter testing taking place at Paul Ricard, track chief Stephane Clair told L'Equipe: "With great pleasure.

"Our application makes sense, too," he told the French sports daily. "We are preparing for it.

"The teams know the quality of our services, and with Magneti Marelli our telemetry facilities means the teams have less to take to the testing," Clair explained.

"Also, as the teams will not know the new track, it could be tempting for them. The only question is whether we will share with another circuit," he added.

"Discussions are ongoing."

F1 teams are no strangers to Paul Ricard, but Clair confirmed recent speculation that the layout of the main F1 track will be tweaked for the revived French GP.

"The circuit for the grand prix will be different even if we use the big layout traditionally used by F1," he said.

"This is an idea we've had for a long time and one that has been validated by the FIA.

"The work will be performed at the time of resurfacing that is part of the closure of the track in December and January," Clair revealed.

(GMM)

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