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Ocon 'not happy' as he vows to fight for at-risk F1 race

Esteban Ocon has promised to do all he can to stop his home Grand Prix being dropped from the F1 calendar in 2023.

Esteban Ocon says he will do "everything" possible to keep the French Grand Prix on the Formula 1 calendar, with the Circuit Paul Ricard at risk of being replaced. The French GP was part of F1's inaugural 1950 schedule and returned for the 2018 season after a 10-year hiatus. But just four years on from its long-awaited revival - and with Qatar, China and Las Vegas all on course to return in 2023 - France could be set to lose the event once again.

Ocon "not happy" to hear latest on French GP

The sport's current Concorde Agreement allows for only 24 races in a calendar year, with 21 hosts already signed up for 2023. But with the sport expected to retain a 23-race calendar next season, one of Monaco, France, Belgium and Mexico looks likely to go. "I'm very happy to discover new tracks but, yes, to see the French Grand Prix at threat, I will do everything I can to be vocal on that to try and keep it on the calendar," said Ocon, speaking to members of the media, including RacingNews365.com . "I don't know what's the situation exactly. But yeah, I'm not happy to hear that it's under threat at the moment."

French race is "extremely special"

Ocon had to wait for his first French GP, having made his F1 debut back in 2016, during the 10-year period in which the country did not stage a race. And in 2019, he missed the event again, during his year acting as a reserve driver for World Champions Mercedes. "Of course, when I started Formula 1, the Grand Prix was not there. It was a rumour that it was going to come back, and it did," continued Ocon. "We've lived so many good moments with the French fans there. It's extremely special when we go there, every year." He added: "I will do everything I can to keep it on the calendar."

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