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As well as the main grandstand alongside the start / finish straight, grandstands are centred around Saint Baume; the chicane which breaks up the long Mistral straight; the double right-hander at Le Beausset and the final tight Virage du Pont. There are also a number of general admission areas around the circuit.
Best Grandstands at the French Grand Prix
Virage du Pont 1-4 (Gold)
Paul Ricard’s gold standard, the grandstands at Virage du Pont offer the spectator some of the best views of the action. You’ll follow the cars around the final two corners – the medium speed left and then slowing right down for the tight right-hander that leads onto the start / finish straight. This final slow corner, taken in 2nd gear at about 80kmph is a perfect photo opportunity with grandstands 2 and 3 offering the best vantage points. Grandstands here have limited views of the grid but are too distant to really benefit. Several large screens opposite the grandstands means you’ll have no trouble following the race.
Saint Baume 1-4 (Silver)
Undoubtedly one of the best grandstands to watch the action at the Circuit Paul Riccard, fans in sections 1 – 4 of the Saint Baume grandstand complex can follow the action from where the cars turn into the Virage de le’Hotel right-hander around the low speed Virage du Camp and Virage de la Saint Baume directly in front of this grandstand. Its a good multiple corner view at varying cornering speeds.
Of this group of grandstands, 2 and 3 are preferable for their proximity to the track, giant screen positioning and unobscured views of the approach.
Saint Baume 5-6 (Bronze)
Saint Baume’s Bronze option lies alongside a straight section of track following Virage de la Saint Baume. Views to the foreground in this acceleration zone are not the best but you can enjoy more distant views of cars snaking around Virage de le’Hotel and Virage du Camp before entry to and around Virage de la Saint Baume.
Chicane 3-6 (Silver)
The chicane 3-6 grandstand is the silver grandstand at the chicane and the superior of the two. Its closer to the apex of the chicane at 3 and 4 in particular and from 5 and 6 is further away but has a more direct view as the cars approach head on.
Chicane 1-2 (Bronze)
Bronze category Chicane 1-2 starts at the beginning of the breaking point and your view of the cars negotiating the chicane is of the side and rear. Its a fantastic place to witness the extraordinary breaking ability of an F1 car.
Le Beausset (Bronze)
The sweeping double apex right-hander of Le Beausset, is an unlikely area for wheel to wheel racing and the position of the grandstands quite a long way from the track all go to make this one of the weaker viewpoints at the circuit.
General Admission at Paul Ricard
If you’re attending for the weekend you’ll have plenty of time to explore all of the general admission areas and find a spot you like best for Sunday. One of the better places is on the grassy bank between Le Beausset and Virage du Pont. From here you’ll see at a distance cars speeding in to the double right-hander, negotiating a number of medium speed turns before disappearing out of view before the final tight, right-hander.
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