The Nevers Magny-Cours Racing Circuit

Find out about the Formula 1 racing circuit situated in the Nievre; its history, information about the circuit itself as well as advice to visitors on opening times and how to get there...

The Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours is a motor racing circuit in the Nièvre region of Burgundy. The track is located near the small town of Magny-Cours and is close to the region's capital, Nevers. The circuit has gained an international reputation since 1991 when it began to host the French Grand Prix, the French stage of the Formula 1 world championship.


The first ever motor racing took place in France at the end of the 19th century and accordingly there is a long and respected history of motor racing in the country.

The Magny-Cours racing circuit was built by Jean Bernigaud in 1960. It quickly became a race track of national status housing the first racing driving school in France, the Ecole de Pilotage Winfield. The track fell into disrepair in the 1980s and was not used for international motor racing again until 1991, when it was bought and redeveloped by the Conseil Régional de la Nièvre.

The Ligier Formula One team, which in 1997 became the Prost Formula One team, was based at the circuit for much of the 1990s and did a great deal of its testing at Magny-Cours.

Important dates

  • 1959: Opening of the first karting track in Magny-Cours
  • 1961: Official opening of the Jean Behra track at Magny-Cours
  • 1971: Opening ceremony of the extended Jean Behra track (3.850 Km)
  • 1989: New Nevers Magny-Cours Circuit opened
  • 1991: First French F1 Grand Prix on the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
  • 1994: Opening of the Nevers Magny-Cours karting track
  • 2000: Creation of a new track dedicated exclusively to driving courses
  • 2003: Alterations to the Grand Prix track and the building of additional facilities
  • 2005: The Nevers Magny-Cours Circuit hosts four international events: the World Touring Car Championship, the French F1 Grand Prix, the Bol d'Or and the Superbike World Championship

The Circuit

As well as the Grand Prix racing circuit, Magny-Cours also has several other tracks including a Karting track, an off road obstacle course and a track for manufacturers and equipment designers to run tests.

The Grand-Prix circuit has a reputation as a modern, smooth, flat racing circuit with several high-speed chicanes and prominent curbs.

In 2003 the final corner and chicane were altered in an effort to increase overtaking opportunities, one consequence of this was the possibility for new race strategies to be employed due to the shortened pit lane. Michael Schumacher taking advantage of this change was able to win the 2004 French Grand Prix using an unprecedented four-stop strategy.

The Grand-Prix circuit

  • Lap Distance: 2.741 miles/4.3860 Km
  • Lap Record: Michael Schumacher 1m15.377s
  • Race Distance: 191.870 miles/306.9920 Km
  • Number of Laps: 70

Visitor Information

The racing track is situated 15 Km south west of the city of the Nevers, capital of the département of the Nièvre.

  • For information on how to access the circuit: Click here

The Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours is open to the public from 08:00 to 20:00, seven days a week. As well as a restaurant and gift shop there is also a museum where visitors can find out more about the history of French Formula 1 racing.

The circuit is a well-equipped site for conferences, meetings and seminars.

Further Information