Formula 1 is preparing for another European double-header with the first leg of the French Grand Prix this weekend.
France has a long association with motorsport, with the latest venue, Circuit Paul Ricard, one of seven to have hosted a race in the F1 era.
The track, located just outside Le Castellet, replaced Mangy Cours as host of the French Grand Prix in 2008.
But one lingering question that remains about the circuit is the meaning of the red-blue stripes along the outside of the racing lines.
Here, talkSPORT.com tells you what it means and what it is for…
Why are there red and blue lines at the French GP?
The colored bands obviously represent the red and blue of the French flag, but their presence is not just for show!
As F1 explains, the lines are designed to help slow cars running off the track to prevent drivers from crashing into walls at high speed.
The blue stripes are abrasive but the red ones are so rough that riding on them on softs or mediums may require a new set of tyres!
This contrasts with other circuits that rely on more conventional asphalt flows and gravel traps (the latter is filled with sand, rocks and pebbles).
The combination of red and blue lines from the French GP also depict alternate track layouts, but the 167 stripes were confusing to fans.
French Grand Prix: what do we say?
Nicholas Latifi: “I’m super excited to arrive in France because it’s the first race where I’m going to have the upgrade package.
“We’ve seen some positive signs on Alex’s car so far so I’m looking forward to getting a first look. Hopefully it can give us that bit of extra relative pace that we’ve been missing and put us on more in the fight.
“France has a unique track layout with lots of run-off areas, so the track limits could be a bit of a problem like it was in Austria.
“More than anything, I’m looking forward to further development of the car and hopefully we can get some good data in the future.”
French Grand Prix: UK start date and time
The race weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard is scheduled for Friday July 22 at Sunday July 24.
There will be two workouts on Friday, with the first starting at 1pm UK time and the third an hour before Saturday.
Qualifying will take place at 3 p.m. while the race itself will start at 2 p.m. UK time on Sunday.
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