Charlie Whiting forces changes to French GP, protecting Mercedes team

The French Grand Prix saw a return to the F1 calendar for 2018, this time at the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet, southern France; the circuit last held an F1 race some 28 years prior.

With the Grand Prix at Ricard continuing onward for 2019, circuit changes have been enforced after 2018 saw complaints from Formula 1 drivers and motorcycle riders who were dissatisfied with the layout and characteristics of the circuit.

Charlie Whiting, the FIA safety delegate, recently visited Paul Ricard looking at proposals of track changes planned to cure the problems. Circuit owners aim to implement the changes before the 2019 French Grand Prix on the 23rd June.

The main issues for the circuit are the surface and the pit entry.

The changes therefore include a new asphalt surface covering 60% of the track, encompassing all corners, leaving the straights untouched.

The pit entrance will also be rebuilt. In 2018, shortly after the last corner (Virage du Pont), the drivers turned right and then sharply left into the pit lane, causing complaints from the drivers.

Should a car encounter a problem on entry into the pits, the car in question would simply drive straight into the first team garage, in the case of 2019 this would be Mercedes.

In 2018, the speed limit was altered and cars could not exceed 60kph, down from the standard 80kph limit. Fortunately, the Grand Prix didn’t see any unsavoury incidents.

The circuit layout will now alter, moving the pit entry off the main straight and before the last corner (Virage du Pont), ensuring the cars have sufficient time to slow and not be pointing directly at the team garages.

Confirmed 2019 season calendar so far

17 March: Australia, Melbourne
31 March: Bahrain, Sakhir
14 April: China, Shanghai
28 April: Azerbaijan, Baku
12 May: Spain, Barcelona
26 May: Monaco, Monte Carlo
9 June: Canada, Montreal
23 June: France, Le Castellet
30 June: Austria, Spielberg
14 July: Great Britain, Silverstone
28 July: Germany, Hockenheim
4 August: Hungary, Budapest
1st September: Belgium, Francorchamps
8 September: Italy, Monza
22 September: Singapore, Singapore
29 September: Russia, Sochi

4 responses to “Charlie Whiting forces changes to French GP, protecting Mercedes team

    • 1) in 2018 there was a real risk to Mercedes team, watch the embeded video

      2) CW mandates that the circuit owners must alter the entry to protect them

      conclusion – wtf are you on about?

      • What worries me, judge, is that you still seem to have absolutely no clue what he (or me, or several others) is going on about and think that saying something vague in an authoritative voice convinces others that it’s they who don’t have a clue.

        Horseglasses, anyone? 🙂

      • The wording of the headline indirectly implies that Charlie Whiting has acted in a way that favours one team over another, and given the history of the author in criticising the Race Director and Safety Delegate, to appear to be placing a negative on this instance of him doing something positive, is disingenuous and appears intentional


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.