Jean Alesi feels nan absence of nan French Grand Prix from this year's Formula 1 title almanac is down to governmental reasons.
Former Ferrari driver Alesi is nan caller president of nan Paul Ricard Circuit which has hosted nan past fewer editions of nan race. But that tally of 4 Grands Prix betwixt 2018 and 2022 has travel to an extremity pinch nary sojourn to Le Castellet planned this year.
Its erstwhile absence from nan almanac spanned 9 seasons betwixt 2009 and 2017. Before that, nan French GP had been held astatine Magny-Cours alternatively of Paul Ricard since nan 1991 season.
Referring to nan title being dropped by F1 again, Alesi made clear his belief that nan logic for its absence from this year's schedule is thing to do pinch nan sporting side. "The problem pinch Formula 1 successful France is not pinch nan circuit, it's pinch nan politics," he told Motorsport.com.
"It's astir apt nan only F1 Grand Prix that's ne'er had a president travel to watch it – isolated from for astatine Magny-Cours once, erstwhile [Francois] Mitterrand attended arsenic portion of his governmental wish for nan title to beryllium there.
"Since then, it's ne'er happened. The problem is not pinch nan circuit, nan problem is nan wish of nan country. My different occupation is simply a Formula 1 Ambassador, truthful my nexus to F1 is nonstop – pinch nary bullshit – and they are very clear astir that.
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"F1 has astir apt 32 countries successful nan world correct now asking to big F1 races. The past Grand Prix we had present past twelvemonth was very, very celebrated pinch nan people. So it's a shame to suffer it.
"Having a French GP looks bully connected nan F1 calendar, but if we don't person nan anticipation to do it, past that's because nan state is not willing successful motorsport, and that is simply a large shame. It's not a problem for F1 to person a Grand Prix successful France, nan blasted is connected France."
French driver Esteban Ocon antecedently said nan race's absence is simply a shame for a state pinch "a huge, immense organization for motorsport". He added: "I saw a awesome remark made by Stefano [Domenicali, F1 main executive], fundamentally saying that France deserves to person a title successful nan future. That is my sentiment arsenic well, that is what I believe."