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Formula 1 French GP Preview

Formula 1 is back for the first installment of a double-header that kicks off with the French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard this weekend.

Formula 1 is back for the first installment of a double-header that kicks off with the French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard this weekend.

Two races remain before the sport takes its traditional summer break, and Ferrari’s two consecutive victories at Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring have seen them gain much-needed momentum.

According to F1.com, the 5.8km-long track consists of high-, medium- and low-speed corners. It’s dominated by the 1.8km-long Mistral straight and a highlight for the drivers is the Signes right-hand turn that they’ll reach 290km/h. In addition to the high speed, a driver will experience a force equal to five times his weight at the Beausset bend. There are two DRS detection zones that the grid will look to use for overtaking as the 2022 regulations have paid dividends in terms of allowing cars to follow one another more closely.

Last year’s exciting race saw Max Verstappen overtake Lewis Hamilton on the penultimate lap in one of the season’s humdinger. This weekend, the Mercedes team of Hamilton and George Russell will look to build on their strong performances in England and Austria. The Brackley-based team has seemingly gotten a handle on its porpoising issue and the smooth nature of the Circuit Paul Ricard will lend itself to the W13 battling the front-runners.

Speaking of Red Bull and Ferrari, they remain the only two teams to taste victory in 2022. It’s unlikely to change as we predict Max Verstappen will put his tyre degradation woes behind him and dominate the weekend proceedings as the RB18 is in scintillating form. Our choice for pole position is last weekend’s race winner Charles Leclerc who regained the second position in the drivers’ championship. The Ferraris tyres suffered massively last year during the race, therefore Red Bull has the edge on the top step of the podium.

Another team to look out for is Alpine, as it’s their home Grand Prix. Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso both scored points in Austria a fortnight ago which saw them draw level with McLaren for fourth place in the constructors’ standings.

Verstappen, Perez, Hamilton

Fastest lap: Verstappen

Pole position: Leclerc

First to retire: Nicholas Latifi

Most Team Points: Red Bull

Both Cars Qualify for Q3 Shootout: Mercedeces

Free Practice 1/2/3 Winning Car: Russell/ Mercedes

Safety Car: Yes

Top 6: Magnussen

Top 10: Ocon, Bottas, Schumacher

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