Debate: Will you miss Magny-Cours?

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Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Mercedes, Magny-Cours, 2007Formula 1 might have seen the last of the Circuit Nevers. Bernie Ecclestone has made it clear that F1 will not return to the isolated venue in the future.

F1 has raced at the track for the past 17 years and has seen precious few great races.

So are you glad to see the back of the track? Or has Magny-Cours been treated unfairly?

The first two French Grands Prix at Magny-Cours in 1991 and 1992 were decent races. Nigel Mansell won both, wresting the lead from Alain Prost in the first. The second was enlivened by the antics of a young Michael Schumacher who crashed twice at the Adelaide hairpin.

The 1999 race was a classic, won by Heinz-Harald Frentzen in pouring rain in a Jordan. Mika Hakkinen put in an inspired performance to race from 14th to second.

The next year David Coulthard put one over rival Schumacher – famously making a not-for-TV gesture at the German on one lap.

But racing action in dry weather has been hard to come by. Yesterday practically the only driver doing any passing was Fernando Alonso.

As F1 cars have become more sensitive to aerodynamic turbulence overtaking moves at the hairpin have become less frequent – because drivers can’t follow closely enough through the proceeding Estoril bend.

Teams, drivers and fans bemoan how isolated Nevers is. The circuit was built by former President Mitterand in the heartland of his support base for reasons of political expediency.

(It was even rumoured that, during its original construction, some of the new buildings were demolished and re-built because a prominent Mitterand supporter hadn’t got his hand in the building contract.)

Are you sad to see Magny-Cours now? Where next for the French Grand Prix – back to the now revitalised Paul Ricard? Or a race in Paris?

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on “Debate: Will you miss Magny-Cours?”

  1. Nathan Jones
    2nd July 2007, 8:35


  2. Robert McKay
    2nd July 2007, 12:26

    Presuming it will be replaced by another Tilkedrome featuring “1km long straight A” followed by “tight left/right hairpin B” and obligatory massive centrepiece building that only the glitterati can get near, I’m not sure the alternative will be any better.

    Yep, it’s a dull track. But I largely expect it to be replace with a dull track closer to somewhere else. Perhaps with a gimmick like night racing in tow.

  3. I doubt I would miss it.

    How about a real race circuit rather than temporary circuits like the one in Paris(Disneyland?).Or maybe one of the alternative configurations of Paul-Ricard.

  4. Magny-Couers in the wet was fun. If rain could be guaranteed every race, I’d be happy for F1 to remain as long as possible. However, dry and dull races are far more common…

    As it stands, I’m not keen on Paul Ricard simply because it has no grandstands and Bernie doesn’t intend building any. Tilke’s record is variable – Bahrain and Shanghai were not so good, but Turkey was thrilling. I hope the replacement circuit is like the latter and not the former. However, F1 started in France and should respect its heritage. So there should be a French GP somewhere – even if they have to miss next year to get it sorted.

  5. will not miss Magny Cours, but French GP should return somewhere else

  6. Massimo Valz Gris
    3rd July 2007, 8:53

    I will not miss it because races make traks, not tracks make races.
    Anyway is very sad that a storic circuit is kicked out just because it doesn’t have luxury infrastructures around. Tells you a lot about F1 these days…

  7. Give us back Paul Richard at Le Castellet and the full length version with the 2,4 km Straight ;)

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