Halfway through season, Onto French GP 2022

Formula One returns this weekend after a week gap, as the French Grand Prix plays host to round 12 of the world championship, and the start of the second half of the season.

Halfway through season, Onto French GP 2022

Max Verstappen the reigning champion, still holds a healthy lead in the F1 drives’ standings with a 38-point advantage over Charles Leclerc. Right behind them is Sergio Perez in third place, 19 points off Leclerc.

Ferrari missed out on the chance to apply maximum damage to Red Bull’s and Verstappen’s title hopes after Carlos Sainz suffered a dramatic engine fire in Austrian GP.

Right behind the top teams, Mercedes will be eager to maintain the recent improvements, with Hamilton fresh from three consecutive podium finishes.

From the French GP all F1 teams will be given the new Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric (AOM) from the FIA to monitor their car porpoising and bouncing. All teams will need to ensure it comes within the regulated limit which will be applied from next month’s Belgian GP.

 

Track Stats

Number of Laps: 53

Circuit Length: 5.842km

Race Distance: 309.69 km

Lap Record: 1:32.740 Sebastian Vettel (2019)

Fastest lap (any session): 1:28.319 (Lewis Hamilton, 2019, qualifying three)

2021 Driver of the Weekend: Max Verstappen

 

The 2023 F1 calendar is rumored to have dropped the French GP and the Belgian GP from next season. While there are suggestions that Spa will be back on an alternate season basis, Circuit Paul Ricard might be on its way out of the calendar. So this maybe is the last chance for this track to create exciting racing.

 

Pirelli Tyre Information

The P Zero White hard is the C2 compound, the P Zero Yellow medium the C3, the P Zero Red soft is the C4: these are the three tyres nominated for the French Grand Prix this weekend for Paul Ricard.

The France F1 Grand Prix venue is a quite well-balanced circuit, where there is a bit of everything: fast corners and flat-out straights as well as slower and more technical sections. All of that is placing medium-severity energy loads on the tyres, which is why it makes a good test track. At 12 metres wide, there are plenty of options when it comes to lines and overtaking: all providing an interesting challenge for the drivers.

The Mistral straight – named after the famous French wind, which can also disrupt the aerodynamic balance of the cars – also has the potential to cool the front tyres down. This can affect the turn-in immediately afterwards: the most demanding corner of the entire circuit, taken flat-out.

Going off the track is definitely to be avoided: the distinct red, white, and blue tricolor markings contain a high-friction material designed to slow cars down quickly, with high risk to flat spot the tyres.

Last year’s winning strategy was a two-stopper from Max Verstappen. It was a gamble as he was the only frontrunner to stop twice, with those behind him stopping just once, but it paid off as the Red Bull driver took the lead again a lap before the chequered flag.

 

F1 FRENCH GRAND PRIX TIME

FRIDAY –

1st Practice: 14:00 local time [13:00 BST; 08:00 EDT];

2nd Practice: 17:00 local time [16:00 BST; 11:00 EDT]

 

SATURDAY –

Final Practice: 13:00 local time [12:00 BST; 07:00 EDT];

Qualifying: 16:00 local time [15:00 BST; 10:00 EDT]

 

SUNDAY- Grand Prix: 15:00 local time [14:00 BST; 09:00 EDT]

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