The 2018 season will see France stage a Grand Prix after an absence from the Formula 1 schedule for the best part of a decade.
Its last race, at the world-renowned Magny-Cours circuit, was during Lewis Hamilton’s first title-winning season in 2008.
But in the light of recent revelations that F1 in France will instead return at the Paul Ricard circuit, the recently crowned world champion was brutally honest in his assessment of the change.
“Honestly I don't like it, just to be straight with you,” Hamilton told French TV station Canal+, as per The Express.
“I loved it when we used to have the Grand Prix in Magny-Cours.
“[Paul Ricard] is in a beautiful place, but the track, when I say I don't like it, it's not as great as Magny-Cours.
“I think the most important thing is that we do have a Grand Prix back in France because it's an important part of Europe, it's an important part of the European tour.
“It's just, you know, France has so many beautiful, beautiful circuits – Le Mans, for example – and for some reason we don't have it at the most beautiful track.
“It doesn't register for me, I'm a driver and I'm dead straight with you, and I'm not gonna beat around the bush.
“But maybe we will have the best race of the whole season there.”
Whether the fact Hamilton finished on the podium at Magny-Cours in 2008 has had an impact on his opinion of the change of track, only he will know.
The Paul Ricard circuit will stage its first race on June 24, and other drivers, like Pierre Gasly, are appreciating the return of France to the F1 calendar.
"In Formula 1, having a home Grand Prix is incredible and for us, there will be three French drivers and a Monegasque as well," Gasly said earlier this month.
"I was able to speak with Alain Prost and Jean Alesi and they told me it will be a very special moment that you have to savour, because it only happens once a year.”
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