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#IAMSTORIES: Charlotte, France

As Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team prepares to tackle the Circuit Paul Ricard, we’re shining a spotlight on the passionate Formula One fanbase in France.

#IAMSTORIES - Charlotte

For Charlotte, the 2021 French Grand Prix will mark her maiden visit to her home race – 10 years after her first live Formula One experience. In her own words, Charlotte shares her story.

I first began watching Formula One with my father when I was little. It was our bonding experience every Sunday.

My parents had the opportunity to go to Magny-Cours twice when I was little, but I didn't have the chance to go with them.

I then stopped watching for a while in high school, but I've been following religiously for the past few years.

In 2011, I went to the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne while on an exchange semester during University. I’ll never forget the roars of the V10s!

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Get ready for this weekend's French Grand Prix with our in-depth preview. Discover the history of Paul Ricard, the challenges of a lap of the track and the key talking points for the race.

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Although it was an amazing effort by Formula One to have 17 races last year, it was strange for France not to host a Grand Prix.

I had just returned to the country and had been set on going to the race with my father, so it was a shame that the race was cancelled.

Having lived abroad for the past few years, I also couldn't go in 2018 and 2019 – so I'm so happy to be going this weekend.

I'm excited to see the Grand Prix at Paul Ricard. I expect the first corner of the opening lap to be the biggest challenge for the drivers, because it's harder to overtake later on in the race.

We're lucky that Paul Ricard is a circuit with so many different configurations and, having raced on the same layout since its return to the calendar, I'd love Formula One to experiment with the layouts to spice up the racing.

I'm very proud of France's history in Formula One: from more recent moments such as Pierre Gasly's victory in Monza last year to my favourite French Grand Prix in 2005, when Fernando Alonso won for Renault at Magny-Cours.

I don't think we have produced a driver better than Alain Prost since his retirement [in 1993]. We have had to wait 24 years between the last two French driver victories, but I hope the next generation can step up.

Of course, there are global travel restrictions in place right now. But, in the future, I recommend visiting the Grand Prix and staying a few more days in the south of France.

My advice would be to rent a car and explore the villages and coastlines instead of the cities. Always leave early to get to places as traffic is so common.

I am from Lyon, which is over three hours from Paul Ricard, but I would recommend it, too. France is quite a small country, so you can explore most of it.

Our cuisine is incredible, so above all, you should find a terrace in the south near the circuit, order "une planche charcuterie et fromage" and enjoy!