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Coordinates: 46°51′51″N 3°9′49″E / 46.86417°N 3.16361°E / 46.86417; 3.16361

Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours.svg
Location Magny-Cours, France
Time zone GMT +1 (DST: +2)
Major events F1, GP2, SBK, WTCC, Superleague Formula
Length 4.411 km (2.74 mi)
Turns 17
Lap record 1:15.377 (Germany Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004)

Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours is a motor racing circuit located in France, near the towns of Magny-Cours and Nevers. It is most famous for staging the Formula One French Grand Prix, which was held there between 1991 and 2008. Although Bernie Ecclestone stated on May, 31 2007 that the 2007 French Grand Prix would be the last to be held at Magny Cours,[1] the 2008 French Grand Prix was held at the same track. In May 2008, Ecclestone announced again that Magny-Cours would not be used from 2009.[2] Although the French Grand Prix initially appeared on the provisional 2009 calendar, the French Motorsport Federation announced in October 2008 that the circuit will not be included in the 2009 Formula One season.[3]

Contents

History

Usually dubbed Magny-Cours, it was built in 1960 by Jean Bernigaud and was home to the prestigious L'école de pilotage Winfield racing school, which provided such notable drivers as François Cevert and Jacques Laffite. However, in the 1980s the track fell into disrepair and wasn't used for international motor racing until it was purchased by the Regional Conseil de la Nièvre.

In the 1990s the Ligier (and, after Ligier was bought, Prost) Formula One team was based at the circuit and did much of its testing at Magny-Cours. It had hosted the French F1 Grand Prix since 1991, and the Bol d'Or since 2000. The circuit was re-designed in 2003 and used for a wide range of events include various sports and commercial use. [4]

The circuit features several high-speed chicanes with prominent kerbs, such as the Imola chicane.

The circuit doesn't provide a lot of overtaking opportunities, which means the races here are commonly regarded as quite uneventful,[5] with the exception of the recent races in which it rained. Most notable of these races was the 1999 race, which was interrupted by a downpour. After a restart, most top contenders developed problems, which paved the way for Heinz-Harald Frentzen to claim a surprising victory in his Jordan.

For the 2003 event, the final corner and chicane were changed in an effort to increase overtaking, with little effect. This did, however, change the approach to strategy at this circuit as it made the pitlane much shorter. Because less time was lost making a pit stop, Michael Schumacher was able to win the 2004 French Grand Prix using an unprecedented four-stop strategy.

In 2006, the circuit was the scene of more Formula One history, when Michael Schumacher became the first driver ever to win any single Grand Prix a total of 8 times and at the same circuit.

The 2007 race was to mark the last French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours, as the French Grand Prix had been indefinitely suspended from the Formula One calendar.

Bernie Ecclestone originally confirmed that F1 would not return to Magny-Cours in 2008, instead moving to an alternative location possibly in Paris. However in a typical F1 style u-turn, it was revealed that the 2008 French Grand Prix would take place at Magny-Cours with the release of the official calendar on July 2007.[6]

In May 2008, Ecclestone confirmed that Magny-Cours would stop hosting the French Grand Prix after the 2008 race, suggesting that he was looking into the possibility of hosting the French Grand Prix on the streets of Paris.[7]

In June 2008, the provisional calendar for the 2009 season was released, and a French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours appeared on it, scheduled for 28 June. However, in October 2008 the 2009 French Grand Prix was cancelled after the French Motorsports Federation (FFSA) withdrew financing for the event.

In 2009 the track hosted its first Superleague Formula event. It has also been confirmed it will host a second event in 2010. [8]

The circuit

The track nowadays is a modern, smooth circuit with good facilities for the spectators which locates 250km (160miles) from Paris in south-east France.[9] Most corners are named after other racing circuits, e.g. the fast Estoril corner and the Adelaide hairpin. It has a mix of slow corners and high-speed sections which includes a very fast dash to the first-gear Adelaide hairpin.[10] The circuit is flat with negligible change in elevation and doesn't provide a lot of overtaking opportunities.

References

External links

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