f1 world September 25, 2019

French Grand Prix 2019: What you need to know

French Grand Prix 2019: What you need to know


They say there is no such thing as bad publicity, and F1 may be thinking just that as the roadshow moves on to Circuit Paul Ricard for the French Grand Prix this weekend.


The 2019 season appeared to be on life support from an interest perspective ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, but a Ferrari renaissance and a hugely controversial result has breathed some much-needed new impetus into a dreary campaign.


Sebastian Vettel roared to a sensational pole at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, and appeared en route to a morale-boosting win for the men from Maranello before a hotly-debated five-second time penalty handed victory to reigning World Champion and 2019 championship leader Lewis Hamilton.


Ferrari have asked the FIA to review the penalty that cost Vettel victory so the debate still rages as we prepare to see if the Prancing Horse can show the same blistering speed on French soil.


Here is all you need to know ahead of another pivotal weekend…



When is the 2019 French Grand Prix?


The start times for the French Grand Prix are as follows:


Practice 1: Friday June 21, 1100 local time (1000 BST)


Practice 2: Friday June 21, 1500 local time (1400 BST)


Practice 3: Saturday June 22, 1200 local time (1100 BST)


Qualifying: Saturday June 22, 1500 local time (1400 BST)


Race: Sunday June 23, 1510 local time (1410 BST)


Where does the French Grand Prix take place?

Paul Ricard, opened in 1970, is no stranger to Formula 1 but, until 2018, it had not been used as a grand prix venue since Alain Prost’s victory back in 1990.


The revamped circuit, which is under new ownership, has FIA Grade 1 listing but in order to achieve that it had to comply with the rules, meaning Formula 1 cars race on the 5.8km version of the track that features a chicane on the north side of the Mistral Straight.


Ahead of the 2019 race, the pit lane entry has been relocated to the penultimate corner, while a vast majority of the track has been resurfaced with fresh asphalt.


Sunday’s race will take place over 53 laps of the 5.842km track.


Directions: How to get to the French Grand Prix


Located approximately 40km east of Marseilles, the best way to get to Paul Ricard is by private jet. But for those of us who don’t have such luxuries, many big airlines fly into Marseille Provence, approximately 65km from Paul Ricard, where one can hire a car to get to the circuit.


You can also use the local train service to help get to the race. You can for example take the train to Bandol or St Cyr Les Lecques La Cadiere from Marseille (journey of less than one hour), which leaves you with a manageable taxi ride to the circuit.


Looking back: The 2018 French Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton lead from start to finish, bar one lap taken for his pitstop. It was a weekend when the sun seemed to shine upon the British driver as he whizzed past, each lap more impressive than the last.


He took the win seven seconds clear of the next car; joining him on the podium was Max Verstappen in the Red Bull and Kimi Räikkönen in the other Ferrari. He moved 14 points ahead of his rival Sebastian Vettel that day, a win that would prove key as he went on to win more races and eventually claim the 2018 Driver’s World Championship.


What can we expect from the 2019 race?

Mercedes have dominated the points table for the first seven races of the season. Ferrari seemed to find their pace in Canada however and claimed their first pole position of the season with Sebastian Vettel. Despite leading the entire race, however, the German was handed a five-second time penalty which meant the win went to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes who crossed the line second.


Given that the British driver has had such a good start to the season and ruled supreme at the Circuit Paul Ricard last season, we can predict that the two Silver Arrows will once again be strong here. However, Ferrari can’t be ruled out. In Canada the Ferraris were extremely quick, and the incident of losing the win can surely only leave them feeling hungrier for victory.


Source: planetf1.com



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