Austria looks better a better bet! We had a good time overall but it could have been a lot better. Water cost more than coffee? security stopped us from taking sensible amounts of water into the track. i t was quite hot and water prices at the the track were a ripoff,. the grandstands were half empty so there was no atmosphere even on race day. the highlight of the whole weekend was the Clio cup. Which is a shame because we were looking forward to the grand prix
The race was good although could do with more shelter or water fountains (for hot days). However, I found the grounds quite dangerous. There were dry roots from plants sticking out of the grounds so punched holes in my picnic blanket. The campsite was worse. I had a huge splinter (the size of a matchstick) from just walking from the race to the campsite. The hollies growing from the ground was prickly and painful. The grounds should be cut down and flattened before campers arrive.
Wow, what an experience. We made the best of this exciting event by travelling from the South of England to the South of France in an old motor home, an 11 day trip. We arrived at the campsite and found a beautiful spot. The facilities proved to be totally inadequate! The ratio of male to female was roughly 3-1 but the organisers had provided only 4 toilets on the male side and queues and tempers grew. No standpipe for fresh water so instead you had to remove the shower head and fill containers from that. No facilities for emptying toilet cassettes so these were being emptied in toilets and washed out in showers, disgusting!!! There were thousands of campers who were already annoyed because of the absolute farce of having their bookings cancelled at the last minute and the need to rebook which proved extremely difficult. A bit of a con, the original company had our money for 6 months and lots of other people's money too. Then there was the walk to the track, a good 25 minutes over very rough terrain. Inside the track more rough terrain and having to contend with vehicles moving around all day long kicking up dust wherever they went and only tiny pockets of shade. We will never book again unless we are assured facilities are appropriate.
From what I read last year to what I saw this year, race organizers made a lot of improvements, especially around parking and traffic flow. These two aspects were run very well. However, some aspects need improvement. For example, there was ample food stalls and merchandise in the chicane area, but over in the fan zone, the line-ups for food stalls on race day were incredibly long. Bathroom facilities were plentiful and clean. All in all, with the location and the dry and dusty surroundings, this race best suits those who wish to camp nearby. We stayed at a beautiful villa in the wine region just a short drive away, so getting there was fine. But once at the track, the blowing sand made for a less than ideal atmosphere.
F1 put on a fantastic race with a clean venue and great entertainment
Best Grand Prix we’ve been too... Very well organised, no queuing to gain entrance or to exit the circuit. Plenty of food & drink eateries. Puts the British Grand Prix to shame... Will definitely be coming back
Went to the French GP with four friends we all had a great time. There was no problems with access to the track, we hired a car and drove straight to a car park next to the track on Sat and Sun without any delays. The race track has lots of good viewing areas
Hey all the bad write ups on traffic from 2018 had all concerned. The police pulled in resources and all traffic ran exceptionlly well. Friday and Saturday had no delays. Short delays heading out on Sunday. We travelled Everyday and stayed at La Ciotat. What a great weekend and F1 Booking.com amazing tickets in front of the podium!
The service provided by bookF1 Com and the Motorsport Live team at the track was excellent. We were kept kully informed with regular updates and we were given a free upgrade which was fantastic. All emails were answered swiftly and having a presence at the event was very useful. As for the circuit and actual event, the general admission viewing opportunities are great, possibly the best I've been to (14th circuit for me). Some are better than the views from the stands, which don't seem to be in the best places for some reason. There are plenty of screens but commentary cannot be heard everywhere. One thing not to underestimate is the size of the track; it's a very long hike around, especially if you're carrying chairs and stuff and the chances are it will be very hot too! Estimates of a 10 minute walk from campsites are a joke too. I would allow 45 minutes to an hour from leaving to getting installed! It's an attractive circuit in beautiful surroundings but access is difficult by road. We camped due to last year's difficulties and getting out on Monday was no issue. The food and drink aren't generally cheap but are very reasonable compared to other circuits I've been to and there's plenty of choice. The service is very good too, I love the French! I was surprised and disappointed not to see any ptomotuinal Ricard stands! A free tipple is always appreciated. The shuttle buses were very random and poorly signed and good luck getting the correct one if you don't speak French. It was annoying that there was no bus available from the campsite in the morning; it was strictly staff only. However, going back it was a free for all. I won't be rushing back here because the effort required for the reward of f a great experience and the prospect of a great race are not as good as so many other tracks. Monaco is down the road and is such a superior experience. Ok, there's no overtaking there but the racing here is pretty dull with no jeopardy and Monaco is just a visual feast. However, what I will be doing is using this website again for booking tickets. Historically I have used many sites, including booking through the circuit itself. This has been the best booking experience in terms of information and help. Compare that to my Shanghai experience for example...! All turned out ok but its nice to know before you arrive that all is OK! Right, off to Austria now, before the long drive back to Ssilverstone. Thanks again fornthe upgrade but we were clearly helping Circuit Paul Ricard to save face with empty stands. Shame.
First visit to Paul Ricard circuit. Chose the silver category seats at Sainte Baume. We had excellent seats with a large TV screen straight in front of us. Views of the cars was great as the cars are quite close to the stands so you get a good view of the drivers on the parade lap. Access to the circuit much improved this year. We stayed at a campsite 40 minute walk from circuit which was fine. Very dusty and uneven ground so good walking shoes recommended.
Bad access to the VIP area Limited food and drinks Our driver was not allowed to pick us up at the closet gate even though we have a VIP car pass. We had to walk two kilometers to meet our driver in the other side of the teak. Very poor organization by the track.
BookF1 were great. Highly recommended! Not only did I get the seats I requested, they sent me updates throughout the weekend for any changes that were relevant to me. Would definitely use them again for future F1 trips.
Nice track, good race. The French people are rude and not helpful
Very happy and pleased by this event. Nice food vilage and good food and drinks. Good service and very clean toilets. The only bad thing was when we were leaving and tried to get to the shuttle bus we came in from Marseille. Even though we asked several staff members and tried to show our ticets they just pointed us on another bus than the one we came in. I thought it was to make it faster; fill any bus and send it away. But we ended up in the wrong town and had to go back and then run to our bus. Very bad!
Actually it was all very smooth. We only went on race day, arrived at the circuit at around 11h30, traffic was fine, parking easy (just a 5min walk from the Toulon Gate entrance. Obviously they learned from the 2018 fiasco, and while I was worried, there was nothing to worry about. In fact overall it was not so crowded even on race day, and with general admission tickets we had a trackside seat on the grass at T12 in front of the big screen. This meant the food and toilets were right behind us, and the lack of crowds made for a convivial atmosphere amongst the supporters. Great day out.
Paul Ricard is one of those iconic circuits with lots of history, so you want to like, but the trust is that the circuit layout - long and thin - means that one feels isolated from the action except for that which is happening right in front of you. All that said, it was an enjoyable weekend, the Park and Ride worked pretty well addressing the horrendous traffic problems of 2018, and the region is a great place to be
The race weekend was very well organised! We took a taxi there and back, and it was brilliant. Although there were queues to buy food and drinks, it went quickly. Pleasure to attend - I've been to 18 Grand Prix venues before - well organised, friendly service...
Booked our tickets as soon as they came on sale. Decided to take a weeks holiday around the GP. The south of France really is beautiful. Ticket prices were as cheap as anywhere we found. The facilities at Paul Ricard are excellent and we will definately be back next year. To top a wonderful week we were then upgraded to start finish line seats a result as good as Hamilton's!
So I've been reading the reviews from 2018 about the traffic fiasco, and honestly I can imagine it was terrible. No, we did not lose few hours sitting in a traffic jam in 2019....No,I will NOT come back here even if they give Grandstand tickets for free. We used the P+R and the internal shuttles, so I can base my review on this. People using other methods of transportation might have had a different experience. We were there Thursday - Sunday, and apart from race day, it was fairly quiet on Thu-Sat. Also, my explanation will be long and with examples, as I'm writing this while leaving the circuit when my frustration is still fresh. Going to the circuit was always easy- you take the exit mentioned on the website and from there the personel guides you on almost every roundabout (in addition to small signs). Then you drop off your car in the field, hop on thr bus and within 30-40 min you were at the circuit. THIS is where the handy experience ends. You get dropped off near the karting circuit (between Le Beausset and Virage du pont). Then you walk 5 min and get to the gate to pass security. In our case we had to get to Saint Baume which was the furthest point from the P+R. When I first booked my tickets I was relieved to see there were internal shuttles within the circuit. Little did I know that I should not have relied on those. Ok,so we passed security and now we had to choose - 30 min walk in the hot weather, making your way through crowds, or take the shuttle. You look at the brochure (full of mistakes), or the app, or the signs and you see there is a shuttle stop on Le Beausset - great. We get there, security staff tells me that this is a VIP stop (surprise! because yesterday we got off that same regular shuttle on that stop). Ok, I head to Information to verify what's going on and they tell me "No, go to Signes gate there is a stop there". That's another 10 min through the dust...oh yes, I forgot to mention it was super dusty everywhere. We got to the Signes and the shuttle comes, heading in the other direction. We get in thinking "Oh they will make a U-turn like they did at Chicane and head back probably because the lady said at Le Beausset it's VIP only". That didn't happen and we ended up on Virage du pont because on the bus it says only Navette public (public shuttle), and Not in which direction it's heading. Only if you look very closely at the signs on the stops you'll notice a tiny arrow indicating some direction of the stops. As I mentioned already though, the direction in which the bus is going is sometimes irrelevant because they'd often make a U-turn (including the small train-type shuttle) and just head back. We ended up just walking to Saint Baume. Additional confusion was stemming from the fact that there were separate Bus stops for handicapped people, VIP bus stops, and the regular bus stops named the same way, but within few hundred meters of each other. Even if we didn't have to wait forever and if by accident we didn't mess up the direction, our trip could be summarized like this: - getting off the P+R bus - 5 min walk to the security gate -10 min walk to the Signes gate (for those whose seats were on the north side) -5-10 min shuttle ride to Chicane stand 6 (where the regular stop is) - ~10 min walk to the train-shuttle because the big bus couldn't get you further -5 min ride with the little train to General admission area, south of Saint Baume 4 - another 5 min walking to Saint Baume 3,2 and 1 If you skipped this whole explanation, getting from the bus outside to the north stands was horrible. I can imagine (and hope) that there was some logic behind that walk+shuttle+walk+shuttle combos. However, the suffering could easily be reduced with a simple sheet of paper indicating in which direction the buses were heading. Paper, which the drivers could also easily flip on each trip. But no, "Navette public" is much more understandable. You'd think the unpleasantries end here but no. On the way back the bus takes you to the parking, in our case Line 2 Champs. Funny enough, we'd be sitting in the bus staring through the windows in despair while passing our parking just to ride for another pointless 10-15 min (on race day ~ 30) to the other parking Casino. During all four days, there was not a single time where more than 5 people got off on Casino, while the rest of us in the bus had to quietly ride back to Champs. Why? - it wasn't safe for the bus to just stop there on the other side of the road and drop us off. Don't mind the fact that the staff were stopping cars for other cars to get out of the parking, but they couldn't stop cars for 50 people to get off the bus and not waste another 15 min (if roads were quiet) into nothing. I forgot to mention that the two walking bridges in the middle of the circuit were one way only (for most of the time) but that was not indicated anywhere on the map. You'd only find out if you waste your time walking back and forth. The last "amazing" moment was right after the final race when the security opened a gate on the side of Saint Baume 1 for people to get on the track and run towards the podium. That only lasted a few minutes before they closed it again and all the people that came from the nearby stands had to be sent back. I'd like to finish on a positive note. Toilets and other facilities were sufficient and well positioned throughout the circuit. There was enough food and drink stands, and enough variety. Some seating areas where you could enjoy your lunch as well. There were also nice fan zones with attractions, and plenty of fan stores with merchandise. The toilets were always clean and I never stood in a queue for food/drink for more than 5 min. My good takeaway from this GP is that now I'm also very excited about Formula 2&3. The race itself of F1 was not the most exciting in my opinion, but I got to enjoy some great driving during the practice sessions. Atmosphere was good and apart from the navigation issues, I enjoyed this race weekend. I hope the organizers will use all the information they have collected and learn from it for the coming years. If you do those things right, then it won't be needed to give 30% off on 2020 tickets because of poorer attendance this year (compared to 2018). For those that were stuck in a 6h jam in 2018 - I hope you enjoyed getting to the track much quicker. For those (like myself) that visited the French GP for first time now or are planning to, I'd think twice before booking 2020. At least, wait for all information regarding the race to be released and see if it will suit you. Have I had known that I'll have to switch multiple shuttles and walk in between (or walk 30 min one way in a super hot day), I'd probably have booked different stand or not booked at all. Good luck for 2020!
If you really want to go, I will never do it again..... After the traffic management fiasco of the 2018 F1, the following has transpired: 1) The local authorities congratulated themselves that they sorted out the traffic management issue for the Saturday and Sunday practice and race and don't plan to instigate further changes for 2019. They improved it but didn't sort It. It was still a 2 hour 11km queue (12km on the Sunday) to get to the circuit at 07:30 on the SW approach road. 2) Their offer of compensation for losing a whole day of a 3 day ticket was merely a time limited 20% reduction in the same ticket price for 2019. Of course, to benefit from this I would have to endure this again! 3) Locals, most of whom seemed to be students were employed or volunteered as event personnel. Regrettably, they are not adequately trained and certainly not adequately experienced in decision making under pressure for an event of this scale Indeed the seemed to be unauthorised to make the necessary decisions to be effective. It was both unsafe and chaotic largely due to the total lack of communication between police, traffic marshalls, security personnel and parking attendants. 4) The tickets indicate that food and drinks are not to be brought into the circuit. This means that people did not have a day's supply of water and food to sit in a car in a queue. There are no shops, toilet facilities or fuel stations in the queue although there is a fuel station at the airport entrance. In the 6 hours we were queuing, no "official" person checked we were okay. The guy behind us gave us water with thanks to him. 5) There is little in the way of mobile phone signal along the approach route. 6) The long perimeter road (the ring of doom) is inner queue and is clockwise 1 way. "Official" and "VIP" vehicles have exclusive use of the left lane lane for "emergency" access. Be aware that not all of them have blues and twos. and some travel at up to 70MPH, especially to catch public who use that lane. 6) if you do decide to go take : water, sunshade, food, something to use as a toilet and if in a large group with several vehicles walkie-talkies. Note that the perimeter road runs clockwise and has 3 points of entry. NW, SE and SW They may have moved the car parks but in 2018 Join NW for parking between 'chicane' and the main entrance, SE for the main entrance and disabled parking, and SE for 'St Baume'. The motorway signs were wrong in 2018. indeed, most of the signage was wrong. I suspect that was because they didn't want queueing on the main roads and therefore sent F1 traffic around country lanes to queue. Those that ignored the signs jumped most of the queues and were given priority to do so to avoid queuing on the main roads. 7) Subject to Brexit and other changes that they may have made; if you are disabled and hold a UK blue badge, you can get a free "PMR"parking ticket at the main entrance. Shout at the rude security woman who does not realise that the VIP entrance is also the PMR disabled parking entrance. Under no circumstance let her persuade you to re-join the 3 hour one-way perimeter road queue. She's the one that refused entry to Sebastian Vettel because he didn't have his pass with him. Once past the security gate, turn right at the roundabout that has no signage. The disabled marked bays you will pass on your left are for VIPs but we parked there unknowing. The non VIP disabled park transpired to be 50 metres past this. No one seemed upset so we stayed put. The VIP drivers will also give you a lift to the Village if you ask nicely. They can't go down the track along the north side because a) they will get their limos dirty and b) no self respecting VIP would ever go beyond the VIP zone and enter the world of the normal paid up ticket holding person anyway. Blue badge holders can also apply for a 50% "PMR" discount on a second ticket for your carer. This can be any ticket but both must be the same. Apply by phone or email. Do not buy online. There is a wheelchair area between St Baume and Chicane however be aware that the view isn't that great. The ground is carpet covered gravel, the disabled busses "PMR" will drop-off at the wheelchair area but don't pick-up. The pickup point is 200m back towards chicane over very rough rutted ground which is thick mud when wet. There are not enough PMR busses. They fill up between the car park and chicane. They cannot pick up from the wheelchair area or St Baume because they are always full by that point. The vans are designed to carry 1 wheelchair and a carer. there is only 1 seat in the back. At the end of the race we had 16 mostly disabled people standing bent over with nothing to hold on to other than each other in the back of a low roof van on a rutted mud track for a 2-3 km journey. it is not possible to get from the south side of the track to St Baume without crossing 2 exceedingly crowded foot bridges. I was pushed over and endured the ordeal of being kindly assisted by an army of well meaning people from all nations. All ground beyond the village is rough. A wheelchair beyond the south east corner of the track is very difficult.
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