Monday, October 20, 2003

The French Grand Prix used to be held near Reims, on a triangular circuit made up of country roads. The straightaways must have been dauntingly fast, and the hairpins were undoubtedly hard on brakes over the typical GP race distance of that era. Grands Prix were twice as long as they are now—real endurance contests.

After Reims, the French GP was held on a number of different circuits, from the amazing Clermont-Ferrand to the dinky confines of its current home, Magny Cours.

Now, if you find yourself in the right area of France, you might pass the decaying grandstands at Reims and imagine the scene on race day, the front-engined single-seaters tearing down those narrow roads.

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