Traffic chaos in 2018 did little to endear the new-old French F1 venue to the Grand Prix going public. A new mobility plan hopes to remedy that with park-and-ride, more shuttle buses, dedicated lanes and better managed parking among some of the solutions.
Getting to the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Marseille (44km), Toulon (33km) and Aix-en Provence (61km) all make good bases for Grand Prix goers. Nice at 165km away is a useful point of entry to the region but a bit far for the daily commute to the circuit.
Though Circuit Paul Ricard has the distinction of having an international airport on site in the form of Le Castellet Airport, this caters to private planes only and most visitors arriving by air will want to look for flights to either Marseille (MRS) which is closer, or Nice (NCE) which is favoured by many budget airlines like Easyjet.
Kiwi.com lets you search for the lowest cost flights and shows you route combinations that often don’t show up on other search engines. If you miss a connecting flight due to delay the Kiwi guarantee means you can take the next available flight at no extra cost.
Travel to the Circuit by Car or Motorbike
Once in the region driving is one of the most practical ways of getting to Paul Ricard, where parking is provided, or drive part of the way and use the park-and-ride services.
If you’re not bringing your own vehicle there are many rental car companies operating out of Marseille, Nice and Toulon.
While there is no shortage of car hire companies at the airport, you’ll get better deals reserving one in advance using a search aggregator like RentalCars.com that searches multiple car hire companies at once for the best prices.
Directions to the circuit
From the A50 motorway, take exit 11 and follow Le Beausset – Aubagne – Circuit du Castellet.
Paul Ricard has partnered with Waze, and organisers recommend using the app to get up to the minute info on traffic near the circuit. Road closures and diversions probably won’t be reflected on your usual GPS so it’s worth paying attention to the app as well as looking out for circuit staff or the local gendarmes directing traffic.
As well as park-and-ride there is plentiful free parking at the circuit. There is a dedicated parking area for motorcycles and for cars you will be directed to the nearest available car park depending on which road you arrive by.
Park-and-ride buses are free and with a dedicated lane may well be a quicker option than parking at the circuit. You don’t need to buy a ticket but you do need to register as parking is limited to 4,000 spaces.
- Park-and-ride is available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
- Services start at 7am and return until half an hour before the circuit closes.
- Buses depart every 5 minutes and should take 45 minutes to complete the journey.
- The park-and-ride car park is located in the Athélia activity zone of La Ciotat. Take exit 9 of the A50 motorway.
There are stations at Toulon, Marseille, Nice and Aix-en-Provence. TGV connections to these towns make it very convenient entry point from other destinations on the Paris – Marseille line or the Genoa – Nice – Barcelona line.
The nearest train station to the circuit is Bandol, but at 20km away still leaves you quite far from your destination. You may be able to catch a taxi from here but its no guarantee so if you do plan to arrive via Bandol its worthwhile arranging one in advance.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, shuttle buses are available to take fans to Paul Ricard from four cities in the region and reach the circuit via a dedicated lane. There is one planned departure from each location but more buses will be put on if needed. The pick up points and times for the services are listed below.
|Marseille||Marseille St Charles bus station||7am|
|Toulon||Toulon train station||6.30am|
On each day, shuttle buses depart the circuit at 8pm from the same area that they drop fans off in the morning.
Return tickets cost from €40 – 60 can be bought here.