Alan Jones, Williams, Paul Ricard, 1980

Lap of honour planned for French Grand Prix winner

2018 F1 season

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The winner of this year’s French Grand Prix will take a traditional lap of honour after the race, RaceFans understands.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018
F1 testing day six in pictures
Plans are also being considered to reintroduce the use of laurel wreaths (pictured) on the podium.

The traditions fell out of practice in the seventies and eighties, partly due to commercial and media pressures.

Drivers stopped wearing laurel wreaths on the podium partly following concerns they obscured sponsor logos. Victory laps were phased out as they cut into the availability of drivers to conduct post-race interviews.

France is holding its first round of the world championship for 10 years at the Paul Ricard circuit in June. The track last hosted F1 in 1990, when Alain Prost won for Ferrari.

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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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26 comments on “Lap of honour planned for French Grand Prix winner”

  1. If they make it a proper victory lap, allowing doughnuts and the like, it’ll probably go down quire well :-)

    1. with 3 engines a piece, no way that will happen

    2. @jodrell

      I think it is problematic for scrutineering, and the drivers will be subdued to preserve engines.

      It might be fun (corny?) if they parked the winning car then jumped in a designated victory ride. Maybe each engine manufacture would provide a victory cab. Teams could choose to provide their own if they wanted.

      The idea would be Versappen or Ricardo hits parc ferma then jumps in an Infinity with a team member. A bunch of camera’s record them laughing and doing doughnuts like in Top Gear. They could even drink some Rauch or whatever.

      I’d enjoy watching that.

      1. @slotopen

        For a moment there O thought you were suggesting they had a F1 car just for donuts. I would bet that FE would immediately tell everybody that it was their idea first to change cars.

        1. @johnmilk

          I would bet that FE would immediately tell everybody that it was their idea first to change cars.

          And then announce a week later that changing cars was a stupid idea anyway, and that they’re not going to do that in the future.
          Oh wait, they already did that.

          1. sounds like Agag

  2. Be good if they let them smoke as well

  3. Laurel wreaths are something I would not mind at all! Especially at heritage tracks like Silverstone, Monza and Monaco!

    1. I don’t know… I love the old pictures of them, but would they be coming back as something that’s retro for retro’s sake, if that makes sense?

      In truth, they would cover sponsors, as the article mentioned, and they do look pretty ridiculous. I’m not sure they’d hold up in the modern era.

      1. @ben-n, it does smack of being introduced as a retro step simply to be retro given that awarding laurel wreaths died out 35 years ago (I understand that John Watson was the last winner to get a laurel wreath in the 1983 US West GP). The sport has been without laurel wreaths for longer than it had them to begin with, and even the most old fashioned posters on this site have not been clamouring for the return of something that doesn’t really add anything to the podium ceremony.

  4. I like the idea of little touches at different Grand Prix. America had the (somewhat over-the-top) driver introductions, which I didn’t totally hate as a one off, even though it needed refining and went on too long. A lap of honour for the winner in France sounds great, as long as he has enough fuel left to do so!

    Perhaps instead of champagne at the British Grand Prix, there could be tea and scones on the podium…

    1. @ben-n

      Perhaps instead of champagne at the British Grand Prix, there could be tea and scones on the podium…

      Success ballast?

  5. Timing is everything here. If the lap of honour is before the podium ceremony the winning driver could drive a lap of honour himself. If it is after the podium ceremony however I assume the winning driver would have to be driven round in order to avoid sending a mixed drink driving message.

    What’s the use of Heikenen plastering the track with boards that say “When you drive, never drink” when F1 says “After drinking champagne on the podium, why not go for a drive!”.

    1. I can see it already. Kimi with half a bottle already down his throat driving a convertible Ferrari, completely wasted, littering the track with gravel

      1. @Johnmilk he would have to win first!

        1. @cm-cm with 2 liters of champagne down the drain, he wouldn’t need to win, just to be on the podium

  6. Good, now broadcasters will have something to cut – to ads – before the podium.

  7. Even if they do the lap of honor thing I doubt it’s something most of us will see & i’m not even sure it’s something I would want to watch anyway, Especially if it interrupts the post race analysis coverage from broadcasters.

    Although having said that given the later start time for races this year I doubt i’m going to be watching much of the post race programming from now on anyway.

    1. it would be a nice touch for people who attend

  8. Duncan Snowden
    7th March 2018, 18:49

    There’s a coincidence. Towards the end of last year I found myself watching the podium ceremonies and wondering whatver happened to the laurel wreaths. They used to be part and parcel of F1. It’ll be nice to see them back.

    Victory laps I’m not so sure about. As others have said, it’ll interfere with scrutineering and cause problems for the parts that are limited by regulations. And we have a slow-down lap anyway, so basically the winner will end up doing two slow laps at the end. That’ll make for riveting viewing, I’m sure. I’m not against it, but I think the reasons for ditching it in the first place were perfectly reasonable.

  9. I quite like the idea of a victory lap in general as it adds a certain amount of ceremony to proceedings, and I think having small additions like this at each track could do a lot to cultivate unique personalities for each one, say what you will about the introductions at Austin last year but I don’t think anyone can disagree it felt very American and differentiated the event from others on the calendar.

  10. In Spa there is no victory lap. The cars are required to take a shortcut just after the La Source hairpin and take the pitlane in reverse. I never understood this and to me it is always heartbreaking. The race just ends, the speakers vaguely announce the winner and that’s pretty it. Quite anticlimax. Liberty wants to make things for fans? This one is an easy target.

  11. In what car will the victory lap be taken?
    Fuel saving is mentioned too many times every race, if the winning car has enough fuel to do one lap more than everyone else, it just highlight the gap between the winners and everyone else even more.

  12. Just to clarify, would this be like an additional cool-down lap but solely with the winning driver or would it be like the driver’s parade, on the back of a flatbed, but again with just the winning driver? It’s just that if it’s the former, it seems largely pointless as we already essentially have one victory lap *and* with the introduction of the halo and Charlie’s feelings toward drivers undoing their seatbelts (as per the driver’s briefing footage), you’re not really going to be able to see the driver. If however, it’s the latter and they even potentially conduct the podium interviews while they do it, I’d be more on-board with that.

  13. I’m all for tradition and laurel wreaths are nice and all, but F1 is struggling to attract sponsors these days, if I’m a sponsor paying big $$$ I want maximum visibility

  14. Likely it just won’t happen.
    For all of the noted reason, scrutineering, fuel, component life and don’t forget, delaying letting the fans onto the track. Try it at Monza …. good luck.
    But the biggest issue is going to be sponsorship and TV coverage. It happens with coverage in the Great White North, that we sometimes get pre-empted by other sports, “Already in progress” . The broadcasters want predictable durations for events and they have a schedule to stick to. Result, they will cut it off on the half hour so you don’t miss a second of golf, darts, curling …. it would be nice for the fans at the track though.

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