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Paul Ricard offers to host 2018 winter testing

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The Circuit Paul Ricard will host the French Grand Prix as it returns to the F1 calendar in 2018, but would gladly get the ball rolling with winter testing next year.

While Barcelona has traditionally served as F1's venue of choice to kick off pre-season testing, it would perhaps make sense to run at Paul Ricard next winter in order for teams to sample the track before the French GP scheduled in June 2018.

Paul Ricard boss Stephane Clair confirmed that his track will bid for the opportunity. 

"Our application makes sense, too," he told the French sports daily.

"We are preparing for it.

"The teams know the quality of our services, and with Magneti Marelli our telemetry facilities means the teams have less to take to the testing," Clair explained.

"Also, as the teams will not know the new track, it could be tempting for them. The only question is whether we will share with another circuit," he added.

"Discussions are ongoing."

Clair also revealed that the Paul Ricard's proposed layout for the French Grand Prix will undergo a few changes.

"The circuit for the Grand Prix will be different even if we use the big layout traditionally used by F1," he said.

"This is an idea we've had for a long time and one that has been validated by the FIA.

"The work will be performed at the time of resurfacing that is part of the closure of the track in December and January," Clair revealed.

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