Esteban Ocon hopes France’s return to the Formula 1 calendar after a 10-year absence helps the sport regain popularity in his home country.
“I think France during this period has lost a bit of interest for motorsport,” said Ocon in Canada. “We still have the hardcore fans but we need to reach a bit more people and I think it’s going to be great help that the grand prix comes back.
The Force India driver described how he saw his first F1 race in his home country before it was dropped from the schedule after 2008.
“It’s going to be fantastic for me and a dream come true to be racing at home,” said Ocon. “I’ve been waiting for that since I’m a kid.
“I did not understand back then why there was no French Grand Prix, why France was not on the calendar. Now it’s back where it should be. It’s going to be fantastic.
“The first grand prix I saw was Magny-Cours in 2006, it was the French Grand Prix. When I was a kid there I had one dream to be racing again in France. Now I will have the privilege to race at home in front of the home crowd and in France in Formula One so it’s fantastic.”
Ocon said there was “so little coverage for motorsport” in France after the F1 race stopped. “[It] was very hard so I hope that’s going to change.”
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7 comments on “Ocon hopes French GP rekindles country’s passion for F1”
18th June 2018, 9:18
How to feel old: Read a Formula 1 driver saying how he dreamed about something “since he was a kid” in 2009.
18th June 2018, 9:22
@paulk – it’s a cruel world, Paul. :-)
18th June 2018, 9:26
@paulk 2006 to be more precise, but I get your point anyway.
18th June 2018, 9:23
First of all, having at least half of the races on free air on tv would help a lot to spread interest in the country. I think there is also the need for a local star to attract more viewers. In France, unlike Italy (with Ferrari), there is no such passion for the national team (Renault), so only a French driver competing for the championship would draw attention.
This Gp in the middle of the World Cup won’t have much of an impact in my own opinion.
18th June 2018, 9:44
Also Esteban, coverage stopped when it left free to air and went to subscription (though i have to admit canal plus have done a good job, they are really expensive, so much so that i have gone to f1pro + netflix + football plan and still saved a few euros a month)
18th June 2018, 10:18
Not much chance of modern F1 rekindling anything unless Frances population has an undiscovered passion for processions.
18th June 2018, 16:20
I hate to say it, but a GP won’t change that. The situation in France is mirrored in lots of other countries that have races.
Comments are closed.