French GP on Target for 2011

Daniel LamCorrespondent IMarch 17, 2009

After the abolishment of Magny-Cours from this year's calendar, and the beckoning global financial crisis, many proposals have been brought forward for the return of the French Grand Prix.

One that has gained support form authorities is Flins-Mureaux, located northeast on the outskirts of Paris, in the Seine Valley. The proposed layout will be a 4.5-kilometer circuit and will be designed by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte in conjunction with Apex Circuit Designs.

The proposal is planned to cost 112 million euros and to be ready for a Grand Prix in 2011.

As with a new circuit, many new innovations have factored into the design. Designed with an emphasis on the environment in mind, the circuit will integrate into the landscape.

The designers have therefore retained many trees and orchards along the banks of the River Seine and placed the racing circuit close to the main Paris-Rouen railway.

With the Paris-Rouen railway close by, other proposals have been to integrate the line to have a station right up close to the circuit, thus lightening the loads for traffic entering and leaving the circuit.

Other measures have also included planting of gardens above the conference and medical centres. All the buildings will have the latest environmental technology, including solar panels above the pit buildings.

The circuit would be located on a 235-acre site and would conveniently seat 120,000 spectators.

Though not a Herman Tilke circuit, the track features many Tilke characteristics.  Run in a clockwise direction, the Grand Prix circuit, consisting of both the North and South Circuit, will have two large straights, one of which heading into a hairpin, reminiscent to many previous Tilke designs.

Other features include a high speed multi apex corner, similar to that of Tilke's Turn 8 at Istanbul. The final right-left-right sequence of turns is also similar to that of the final turns at the Tilke-designed Istanbul Circuit, just in an opposite direction.

At 4.5 kilometers, the circuit will be one of the shorter ones, only shorter than that of Monaco, Hungaroring, and Interlagos and will run for at least 72 laps.

If these proposals go ahead, one's belief would have the French Grand Prix return back to its once great former self, as this is the birth place of Grand Prix Racing.