Drivers sorry for fans affected by “last minute” French GP date change

2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly empathised with fans whose have been affected by the change of date for the French Grand Prix.

The cancellation of the Turkish Grand Prix has led to the race at Paul Ricard being moved forwards by a week. The promoters had already sold around 15,000 tickets for each day.

Speaking at the Monaco Grand Prix, Gasly said that fans who had bought tickets should be compensated. “It was a bit surprising because it’s in a month so it’s obviously coming very fast. It’s sad to see [some] people won’t be able to come anymore because it’s quite a big organisation for some people and also a lot of money just to come and support us.

“I feel very sorry for these people who were badly impacted by this last moment change. So I hope there will be solutions to offer to these people, at least pay them back and hopefully, I don’t know, give them tickets for next year or find some solutions.”

Start, Red Bull Ring, 2020
Analysis: Was a Red Bull Ring repeat the best solution to F1’s latest calendar headache?
The French Grand Prix promoters confirmed as part of their announcement that fans now unable to attend will be able to claim full refunds for their tickets. Formula 1 can impose such calendar changes at short notice, RaceFans understands, notwithstanding potential concerns on the part of the promoter.

However Gasly was pleased to see his home race remain on the calendar following its cancellation 12 months ago due to the pandemic. “I’m still happy we get to to race in France,” he said. “Last year, that wasn’t the case and I’m glad to see the GP is still on the calendar for the season.

“I’m really excited about it. But obviously quite sad to see that change and that it has affected some people negatively.”

Ocon, who will participate in his home race for the first time in three years, said that he understood organising the event was difficult for both the promoter and fans planning to attend.

“It is obviously very hard to just organise yourself at the moment with all the changes that is happening in the world. Seeing the French Grand Prix moving, obviously, it will make big difficulties for for the fans that were planning to come. So not the greatest news.

“As Pierre said, we are very pleased that it is still on the calendar. I think the news we would have hated to see is the grand prix not being on the calendar anymore.”

“But I hope we are still going to see a lot of fans out there and that they will hopefully find solutions to come, even if it is earlier, how to organise [it],” he added.

2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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3 comments on “Drivers sorry for fans affected by “last minute” French GP date change”

  1. This is one reason why doing Paul Ricard two times would be better than Red Bull Ring 2x, but the former probably wasn’t prepared to offer as much for two weekends or wasn’t willing to double hosting fees at all.

    1. The sad thing about it is how it shows that fan attendance and comfort (apart from a bit of extra ‘atmosphere’ for the real product, ie. the video-stream) are really quite low on the priority list @jerejj; which I suppose is both fair enough and a longtime thing, but still a bit sad.

      1. I think that pretty much nails it yeah @jerejj, @bosyber.

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