Together with Monaco and Macau, the 2,760 km-long Circuit de Pau forms a triptych of legendary urban tracks that have managed to survive into the modern era of formula racing. The first edition of the Grand-Prix de Pau, on an urban track in the city, dates back to 1930 (it was won by Philippe Etancelin in a Bugatti, and the race was the GP de France of that year) and pre-war GP racing became a fixture in 1933 up until 1939 and the beginning of World War II. Tazio Nuvolari, Jean-Pierre Wimille or Hermann Lang were among the winners in those epic years.
The GP resumed in 1947, alternating F.A, F.1 and F.2 machinery, with the roll of honour getting enriched with names of the like of Juan Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari, Jean Behra or Maurice Trintignant. 1964 marked the beginning of a twenty-year period where modern F.2 found in Pau its own Monaco. Over those two decades, Jim Clark completed its poker of Pau wins, with Jochen Rindt (3 times), Jack Brabham (twice) or Jackie Stewart (once) among other also imposing themselves in the streets around the Parc Beaumont, not to forget some top representatives of the French golden generation of those years: François Cevert, Jacques Lafitte, Patrick Depailler and René Arnoux. Quite naturally, F.3000 took the baton of F.2 up to 1998 and a second consecutive win by Juan Pablo Montoya.
Since then, the Grand Prix de Pau has been mainly held with Formula 3 (with a parenthesis between 2007-09 where touring cars of the WTCC headlined the event).
Lewis Hamilton, Romain Grosjean and Antonio Giovinazzi were all grand prix winners before reaching Formula 1, having triumphed in the French town of Pau while racing in Formula 3.
The single-seater category's affinity with Pau started in 1964, with a round of the French F3 championship taking place there from its creation in 1964. It then returned to the calendar in 1984, and became the main race in 1999, as a special European Cup before a round of the F3 Euro Series in 2003. for three years. Lewis Hamilton won in 2005 and Romain Grosjean in 2006. Drivers such as Marco Wittmann, Raffaele Marciello, Felix Rosenqvist and Antonio Giovinazzi added their names to the roll of honour in more recent years.
Euroformula Open first raced at Pau in 2019, a memorable edition because of the victory under the rain of Billy Monger. To date, the Brit is the only driver with physical disability to have won a major international formula race. After a 2-year hiatus because of the pandemic, the Pau GP is back to the Euroformula calendar for its 79th edition.