1963 French Grand Prix
- Sunday, June 30, 1963
- Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France
- F1 World Championship
This year the French Grand Prix returned to the Reims-Gueux circuit in the Champagne country, after a brief sojourn at Rouen. To say that the 49th French Grand Prix was a bit of a shambles would be putting it mildly. On some counts this was due to circumstances beyond the control of the Automobile Club du Champagne, on others it was directly their responsibility.
The whole meeting got away to a bad start by the FIA allowing it to be held on the weekend following the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, or, alternatively, the FIA made a mistake in allowing the Dutch to hold their Grande Epreuve one week before the French Grand Prix. Many years ago the FIA made a rule that there should be at least one clear weekend between Grande Epreuve events, and this was approved by everyone concerned.
Tradition at Reims has become that practice shall take place in the afternoons and evenings of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and that Saturday shall be a day clear of racing, during which the organisers and those not working shall indulge in gastronomic orgies. Normally this is a fine arrangement, but with the whole Grand Prix entry in Holland on the previous Sunday it would have been reasonable to cut out the gastronomic orgies and move practice back a day, to allow the teams to re-organise themselves after the Dutch race. One had the feeling that the Automobile Club du Champagne were not aware that there had been a Grande Epreuve held the previous Sunday.