Fans planning to attend the 2018 French Grand Prix can expect some traffic jams despite efforts by the race promoter to reduce them.
Paul Ricard is returning to the F1 calendar this year for the first time since 1990. Concerns have been raised about the difficulties fans may face getting into the track despite race day attendance being capped at 65,000, which is considerably lower than at most European rounds.
The race promoter told F1 Fanatic it has made plans and arranged trial runs to improve the flow of traffic to the circuit.
“The police, the traffic authorities of the areas and we are working on a plan to handle all the increased traffic,” said the director of marketing for the French Grand Prix Aurélie Letellier.
“There are plans to implement a sort of circular road around the circuit that will be a one-way road to direct traffic and ease the spread to parking lots. There’s a few other measures to redirect local traffic and we’re looking at opening other roads as well to traffic that are normally not open.”
“We have a couple of events on the circuit that allow us to test a little, we have for example the Bol d’Or [motorcycle endurance race] which has quite a number of visitors. Obviously it’s a bit different, a lot of visitors come on motorcycles, but it’s an event we can use as a benchmark and it works quite well.”
Although these trial runs went “quite smoothly” fans have been warned to expect some traffic jams. “You’ll always find the people that complain and cannot understand that when you have such a race track in the middle of a beautiful landscape, great setting on top of a mountain with sea view, then obviously it’s going to take a little bit of time to get here,” said Letellier.
“Obviously traffic jams are to be expected to enter but we’re working on it to speed up ingress and egress.”
Hotels asked to ‘offer good conditions’
The race organisers have also tried to address concerns about the availability and cost of accommodation at the race.
“We have got in touch with all hotels and accommodations and we have told them that there’ll be business for everyone, they’ll get their share and publicity as well through the grand prix,” Letellier explained. “We will help them market their rooms and so on and in exchange we asked them to refrain from increasing prices.”
“We have set up an official label for hotels and track accommodation options where we’ve said we commit to granting them visibility and booking options through ticket purchases and so on.”
“In exchange we ask [them] to keep a number of rooms and options available at reasonable prices, keep a high level of service, welcome in guests from all over the world, but also where they offer good conditions, so not asking for minimum five-night stays and not asking for 10 times the price.”
Location of Paul Ricard
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