Jean Alesi lashes out at French government

The French Grand Prix has been axed from the calendar, with a future race in France looking highly unlikely.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi has blamed his nation for being the reason why the French Grand Prix was axed from the F1 calendar, with the Frenchman blaming the “desire of the country” for its unfortunate fate.

The French GP was dropped after the 2022 season, despite the last couple of races at Circuit Paul Ricard having been particularly good.

Alesi is interestingly the president of the circuit and is an ambassador of Formula 1, meaning he has a “direct link” to the sport, which gives him some fascinating insight.

According to Alesi, the French “politics” is the reason why it was dropped, with it being perhaps the only Grand Prix which has never had the nation’s president be in attendance.

READ: Sebastian Vettel warns FIA he would’ve defied new rule

Losing the French GP is also massive for French automaker Alpine and their French drivers, with all three losing a huge market.

Alesi believes that a French GP could easily be put on but that the “country is not interested in motorsport”, something he labels as a “great shame”.

“The problem with Formula 1 in France is not the circuits, but the politics,” Alesi told the French edition of

“It’s probably the only F1 Grand Prix that has never had a president come to watch it, except for the one time at Magny-Cours, when [François] Mitterrand was there as part of his political wish for the race to be there. It never happened again.

Article continues below

“The problem is not with the circuit, but with the desire of the country. My other job is as a Formula 1 ambassador, so I have a direct link with F1 without fuss and they are very clear about that.

“F1 probably has 32 countries in the world at the moment asking to host F1 races. The last Grand Prix we had here last year was very popular with the people. So it’s a shame to lose it.

READ: Christian Horner gives honest explanation for Andretti-Cadillac opposition

“Having a French GP looks good on the F1 calendar, but if we don’t have the opportunity to do it, it’s because the country is not interested in motorsport and that’s a great shame,” the 58-year-old continued.

“It is not a problem for F1 to hold a Grand Prix in France, the fault lies with France itself. Of course part of my new role will be to send a letter, to request a meeting with the president of France, but I don’t know if it will happen.

“If it does and we can get the French GP back, I’d be the happiest man in the world!”