Esteban Ocon, Force India, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Ocon hopes French GP rekindles country’s passion for F1

2018 French Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

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.

“There will be a lot of coverage overall in France during that week so yes I think it’s a really good thing.”

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.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

7 comments on “Ocon hopes French GP rekindles country’s passion for F1”

  1. How to feel old: Read a Formula 1 driver saying how he dreamed about something “since he was a kid” in 2009.

    1. @paulk – it’s a cruel world, Paul. :-)

    2. @paulk 2006 to be more precise, but I get your point anyway.

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. Not much chance of modern F1 rekindling anything unless Frances population has an undiscovered passion for processions.

  5. petebaldwin (@)
    18th June 2018, 16:20

    “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.

    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.