Getting There & Around – 2021 French Grand Prix

Filed in 2021 French Grand Prix Travel Guide by on 62 Comments

The best ways get to Le Castellet and Circuit Paul Ricard for the 2021 French Grand Prix, which is expected to be held in summer 2021.

Please Note: The 2020 French Grand Prix (originally scheduled for June 25-28 at Circuit Paul Ricard) has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. This post will be updated with up-to-date travel information when dates are announced for the 2021 French Grand Prix.

The return of the French Grand Prix in 2018 was tainted for many fans by significant delays getting into and out of the Paul Ricard Circuit on race weekend, poor trackside parking and a lack of information for spectators. Many fans were stuck in traffic on local roads for up to 6 hours due to poor communication between the circuit and local traffic police, coupled with inefficient systems for controlling access to circuit parking.

Thankfully, a new ‘mobility plan’ was put in place for 2019 that was focused on four main areas: matching the number of vehicles going to the circuit with road capacity, overhaul the organization and management of trackside parking, use new roads and modify existing roads to improve road capacity and finally, to advise and inform the public before, during and after the event. In addition to dedicated lanes for public buses and vehicles with five or more passengers, the biggest new initiative for 2019 is a “park and ride” facility in nearby La Ciotat with capacity for 4000 cars and free onward buses to  the circuit. A paid bus service also connects Paul Ricard each day with the larger regional centres of Nice, Toulon, Marseille and Aix-en-Provence.

Join our closed Facebook group Going to the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard to ask travel-related questions, connect with fellow fans and plan joint journeys to the circuit.

Flights to the French Grand Prix

The Paul Ricard circuit is approximately 40km east of Marseilles, France’s second biggest city, in the direction of Toulon. If you own or have access to a private jet, then you are in luck. The Paul Ricard circuit complex includes the private Le Castellet Airport. The rest of us need to fly into one of the larger airports nearby served by international carriers:

  • The best airport to fly into is Marseille Provence (MRS), approximately 65km from Paul Ricard. This growing hub serves many European and some international routes. The largest number of flights are with discount carriers Ryanair, Easyjet and Volotea. Seasonal destinations further afield include Istanbul, Tel Aviv and Montreal.
  • The closest airport – 55 km from Paul Ricard – is Toulon Hyères (TLN), but this only serves a handful of routes, many seasonal. Example routes: Paris (Orly or CDG) and Lyon with Air France/HOP!, Southamption in the UK with Flybe and Copenhagen with Scandinavian Airlines
  • Finally, Nice Côte d’Azur (NCE) is only 176 km from Paul Ricard and is larger than MRS. It serves as a hub for Air France and Easyjet, and also has more long-haul flights, including New York, Doha and Dubai.

Example Return Airfares to the 2020 French Grand Prix

  • London STN > Marseilles MRS: from £82 with Ryanair
  • Paris ORY > Marseilles MRS: from €99 with Air France
  • Amsterdam AMS > Marseilles MRS: from €160 with KLM
  • Berlin SXF > Marseilles: from €70 with Easyjet
  • New York JFK > Nice NCE: from $1120 USD with Delta
  • Sydney SYD > Nice NCE: from $1730 AUD with Qatar

Trains & Driving to Circuit Paul Ricard

  • French trains are reliable, fast and often quite expensive, though you will save by booking in advance. Paris and Marseilles are connected by a high-speed TGV train that covers the distance of 750km+ in under 4 hours. Prices from €10 each way. Book on SNCF. Other train stations close to the circuit include Bandol, Toulon and Aix-en-Provence.
  • Depending on where you are traveling from, it could be worth driving your own car to Le Castellet (especially if you decide to camp). This part of Europe benefits from an excellent system of motorways, though you will have to factor in the cost of tolls. Both traffic and parking can also be a problem, but this is compensated by some incredible coastal and mountain scenery.
  • Rental Cars: browse the best deals in Marseilles and surrounds with

How to Get to Circuit Paul Ricard

  • Drive yourself: Given the fairly remote location of the Paul Ricard circuit, the best way to get to the race will be to drive yourself (hire a car) or stay as locally as possible, e.g. trackside camping. If you decided to base yourself in nearby Marseilles for the weekend, then the 40-45 km trip to the circuit via the A50 autoroute (use exit 11) should take around 45-60 minutes, notwithstanding traffic. After last years issues, trackside parking is FREE for ticketholders in 2019. Note that if you are travelling with at least five people in your vehicle, you can use a special carpooling lane and use a special parking area close to the circuit. Click here for a map of local roads with access to the circuit.
  • Park & Ride: new for 2019, 4000 free parking spaces are on offer in La Ciotat (Zone d’Activité Athélia de La Ciotat), around 20km from the circuit. From the parking area, free buses should take around 45 minutes to get you from the parking to the circuit via a decidated traffic lane. Register your interest here.
  • Shuttle Buses: the organizers offer daily shuttle buses to Circuit Paul Ricard from Marseille, Toulon, Aix-en-Provence and Nice. Price are from €40-60 return per day, depending on distance. Be aware that these buses leave early every day from the respective cities (between 6am and 7:30am). Book here.
  • Taxis / shuttles / ride sharing: taxis are not cheap on the French Riviera. Expect to pay around €100 each way to get to Paul Ricard from Marseilles: OK if you are sharing with fellow fans.

Have you been to Paul Ricard? Leave a comment below!

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

Comments (62)

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  1. David Milne says:

    Thanks for your information on access to Circuit Paul Ricard.
    I was hoping to find that as with most races, shuttle buses would be available.
    Oh well, wait and see I guess.

    • Val Bedford says:

      Hi,I’m concerned re access too as not pre-booked parking and not on facebook! We’re staying in 13600 Bouches de Rhone area, have you had any joy with info re access for those who haven’t prebooked? Thank you.Val

  2. Michael Cook says:

    Well here we are the end of January and still no word about shuttles to the track. I’m have booked a room in Toulon but not bought tickets yet as I don’t know how to get to the track.
    That have had since 3016 to organize this, what the heck ???

  3. Michael Cook says:

    Still no news on any shuttle service, for the French race unbelievable,
    As I said in my other post they’ve had since 2016 to organize this.
    Seems they can’t organize a piss up in a winery! !

  4. nige wilkin says:

    hi mate
    7 of us staying in marseille just been quoted 700 euros to get to track and back absolute robbing b******ds

    • Editor says:

      That is a rip off. Just wait for details of official transfer service to be announced and take that

      • Kirsty says:

        Shuttle bus info is out 147 euros each for 3 days! No thank you.

        • Editor says:

          Yes, it’s a pretty big ripoff. Sorry!

        • Clive says:

          Hi Kirsty. My friend & me are staying in Toulon at the Loramac apartments.We have a hire car booked,car park at the circuit also.Like yourself I thought there would be shuttle bus but not at those prices.Let us know if you dont have any joy. Clive ps I have know joined F1 destinations Facebook group

  5. John Kane says:

    We will be staying in Cassis and although we will have a hire car we don’t particularly want to drive to the circuit. So we are relying on some kind of shuttle service from Cassis or nearby. It is now only 14 weeks to race day so I am really surprised that the organisers are yet to release transport details.

  6. Heidi says:

    Booked the flight to Marseille/accomodation for hols and F 1 tickets. I’m panicking now however as only 2 of us and transport to track and back will be very expensive it seems. Do you think a shuttle will be bookable in advance at all. I won’t be driving unfortunately. Thanks

  7. Kirsty says:

    Also waiting on Shuttle info. Tickets booked and accommodation in Toulon, so hoping on shuttles rather than hiring car!

  8. Lesley says:

    There are 9 of us staying in Marseilles and going Saturday and Sunday. If anyone fancies coming on board I can get prices for a 20 seater. Cheaper than travelling in small numbers. Message me at lesley@

  9. allen says:

    France gp parking problem
    drive car have a car park in circuit?
    need any advance booked for parking?
    and price?

    MAR 22, 2018 | 11:46AM CET
    Emna Metoui replied:

    Merci pour votre message.

    Pour cet événement, ce sont uniquement des billets électroniques.

    Je reste à votre disposition pour de plus amples informations,

    Bien à vous,


    Emna M.
    Formula 1® Tickets
    Tel.: +377 93 25 47 78

    The above is my ask and an official message.

    amazing & unbelievable

  10. Michael says:

    Any news on the official shuttles? It’s now the end of March.

  11. Hello. I had booked a flight to Marseille and I get tikets for June 24th. Any news of the official shuttles to get Paul Ricad circuit?

  12. Michel Verwijmeren says:

    Yesterday, the official Twitter account (GPFranceF1) told us that, next week, information about the Shuttle Services will be released.

  13. Karol says:

    Hi! I am concerned about the SNCF strike!! My flight arrives to Lyon, and I originally planned to travel by train to Marseille on Friday, but I have now realised it is a strike for that day!!! Any alternatives on how to move from Lyon-Marseille and back.

    • Ali says:

      I booked a train ticket from Paris to Marseille on Friday (22nd) and then realized it is a strike day (though the SNCF website mentions that my train is running)

      do you have any information on affected trains?


  14. Gustatio says:

    Editor, thanks! And thanks for sharing your great posts every week!

  15. thomas gosewinkel says:

    Is anyone camping near at the circuit would be keen to share a taxi from a town
    Would like to get there thursday . Email me on thanks thomas

  16. Nigel Durbridge says:

    Sorry to change the subject a bit, but can you take food and beer into the circuit.

    • Giorgio says:

      Yes you can, if you’re a bit of a smuggler. Cans, bottles (glass and plastic) are all prohibited. You will be forced to leave it at the entrance … if they search you (which they will) and find anything (not always if you hide it properly). Food is not an issue depending on the packaging.

  17. Bumhole Mcgillacutty says:

    I’ve never been to this circuit but I’ve been allowed to take food and beer into circuits in the UK, Belgium and Italy so I’d imagine it’s the same here.

    Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

  18. Balazs Pasztori says:

    Hello F1 fans,

    My girlfriend and I will be visiting the practice on Friday only. As I see the shuttle is very expensive and the schedule is not the best as well. If you rent a car and you have 2 seats we are happy to join you and split the costs for that day. If you are planning to go by cab/taxi we can share and save a lot. I hope we will find somebody who has the same issue.

    Have a good day!


  19. Val Bedford says:

    My husband & I are staying at La Ciotat,13600 Bouches du Rhone, is anyone close to share travel to circuit? Any suggestions will be appreciated. Sorry, think we’re the only people in the world not on facebook!

    • Andy says:

      We are in La Ciotat as well. Just arrived. Six of us planning on getting a taxi. Haven’t organised anything yet though. Have you got any taxi numbers? If we can’t get a six seater then eight people and two taxis would be a better option…

  20. Charlotte says:

    we are arriving on the weds and are getting public transport and are fairly stuck after we get to Toulon I guess, such a shame its so in accessable for people! hope we bump into people in the same boat to share that huge taxi fare

  21. Kenn Meier says:

    Does anuboduý knows if there will be buses from Bandol to the Circuit Paul Ricard from this week?

  22. Barbara says:

    Hi we are staying at the Ibis Toulon in La Seyne Sur Mer, there are 2 of us and we have tickets for Saturday and Sunday, is there anyone else staying at this hotel and travelling to the circuit. Also where is the nearest shuttle service. Thanks.

  23. Chris Taylor says:

    My Wife and I are getting a taxi from the Old Port in Marseille to the track on the Sunday (race day) if anybody would like to share and split the cost?

    If anybody else has two spare seats please text me on 07775886621.



  24. Nigel Watson says:

    Looking for a lift for one person on Sunday staying in saint cry sur mer but can get to you happy to pay

  25. Declan Brennan says:


    My girlfriend and I used your shuttle bus service on Friday for transfer to and from Marseille. This service was sold (at premium prices) under the impression that there would be an F1 lane in operation saving travel time to and from the circuit. No such lane was taken by our driver if it existed at all. As such, we sat in traffic to and from the event, and our return trip took over 4 hours. This was unacceptable and service was falsely advertised. As such, I request a full refund for mine and my girlfriend’s ticket.

    Declan Brennan

    • Editor says:

      Hi Declan, we didn’t organize the shuttle bus service. The service we listed on this page was the official shuttle service run by Isi Lines for the organizers. We know about the serious congestion issues and massive delays at the circuit on the weekend. I suggest you take up your grievance direct with Isi Lines or GP France.

  26. Bogdan Bogdanov says:

    Hi All,

    i will be sleeping in Marseille and will drive alone with my car to the circuit, i can take 2 persons with me (mini cooper car :)).My mobile is +33608002972, if someone have interest, sms me and we can drive together.

  27. M C Carter says:

    Hi my Husband is staying in sanary-sur-mer
    With 6 people. Does the shuttle bus go through..or does anyone have any taxi numbers??

  28. Andy K says:

    Used the La Ciotat free parking (drove from Cassis in hire car) and free bus today. Very scenic service over the mountain road through the forest to the race track. Took about 40 mins as advertised! Hoping works as well over next couple of days.

  29. Kevin says:

    Any idea how long the bus from the track back to Marseilles takes? Considering a 9pm train but not sure if the 6pm track departure would get there in time.

    • Editor says:

      I was running a bus last year from Marseille to the track and back. The journey took 45 minutes every time, apart from after the race when it was more like 90 minutes. But we were using the VIP lane. Not sure about the public buses, but should be similar.

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