The 60th French Grand Prix was a hot, sunny affair and leading up to the race, the weekend practice sessions and qualifying clearly showed that Mercedes was the team to beat. The Paul Ricard circuit is a pedestrian circuit that may be a better test track than it is a race track and as such, the race was quite pedestrian as a result. That is if you consider a Mercedes 1, 2 finish a pedestrian result. If you’re a Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas or Lewis Hamilton fan, this this race a great fun.

Leading from pole position, Lewis Hamilton led every lap and lapped up to 7th place while his teammate struggled to keep pace with him. The nearest competitor was Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who manage to pressure Bottas at the end and finish 3rd.

Win

A win for Mercedes who looked dominant all weekend and capitalized on their strong qualifying position by converting a 1,2 quali result into a 1,2 race result. Although both cars experienced blistering on their front-left Hard compound tires, they were able to still finish strong through difficulties with their Pirelli’s. Even though they experienced tires issues, it says a lot that other teams still, without blistering, still couldn’t get their tires to work well enough to find an advantage over Mercedes. A testament to a superior chassis and design by the Silver Arrows team.

A win for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who managed to secure a podium finish with a tidy drive and he did keep Bottas honest until the last lap. Ferrari also scored a “fastest lap” point by pitting Sebastian Vettel late for soft compound tires and giving the team and Seb a point.

A win for McLaren who managed to beat Renault for “best-of-the-rest” with Carlos Sainz Jr finishing in 6th place behind Vettel’s Ferrari. McLaren looked rejuvenated all weekend long with both Sainz and Lando Norris qualifying very well and then converting that result into a terrific race result. Powered by Renault, they were fighting the home-town heroes on their home track and they won.

A win for Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen who finished in the points with a 7th place result. He had a quiet race but his straight-line pace and tire management for a deep first stint resulted in a nice run to 8th place.

Fail

A fail for Renault who couldn’t continue their Canadian GP success by losing their battle against McLaren for “best-of-the-rest”. Daniel Ricciardo used all of the track and more to try and get around both McLaren’s and ultimately garnered two 5s penalties for his pass of Lando Norris due to running off the circuit during the passing attempt as well as running off the track while passing Kimi Raikkonen. It moved him from 7th place to 11th. Nico Hulkenberg, using the older engine, could not make any progress on either McLaren and it was Lando’s hydraulic issues that allowed him to pass to finish 8th.

A fail for McLaren’s hydraulic system on Lando Norris’s car that cost him valuable places in the waning laps. Lando did a terrific job to manage with no DRS, dodgy differential, hard upshifts and failing hydraulic systems on all four corners of his car. IT garnered him a “drive of the race” award at F1.com.

A fail for Haas F1 who retired Romain Grosjean on lap #47 while Kevin Magnussen trundled around to 17th. The tires may still be elusive for the team but one questions the rate and effectiveness of their car development at this point as they’ve continued to slide backwards after starting the season as a “best-of-the-rest” favorite.

A fail for Pierre Gasly who started on the soft compounds and struggled the entire race out of sequence with those around him. Same could be said of Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi who had a similar race.

WTH

Not sure what happened to Toro Rosso’s pace as they seemd tidy on Friday and Saturday but just couldn’t find the pace on Sunday. There were some good intra-team battles between Alex Albon and Danill Kvyat and while the latter started at the rear due to an engine change, it’s unfortunate they couldn’t find more pace for Alex.

Sergio Perez is wondering why he got a penalty for running wide and re-entering the track around the prescribed bollard following the rules perfectly. The re-entering around the bollard is one rule but going off track and gaining an advantage is a second rule, regardless of re-entering in the prescribed manner, that was in effect.

The T-shirt Gatling gun was a bit odd. Felt like it was feeding Soylent Green to the people or bringing loaves of bread to the French peasantry.

French GP Results:

POS DRIVER CAR LAPS GAP
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 53 1h24m31.198s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 53 18.056s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 53 18.985s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 53 34.905s
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 53 1m02.796s
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 53 1m35.462s
7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 52 1 Lap
8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 52 1 Lap
9 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 52 1 Lap
10 Pierre Gasly Red Bull/Honda 52 1 Lap
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 52 1 Lap
12 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 52 1 Lap
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 52 1 Lap
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Honda 52 1 Lap
15 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso/Honda 52 1 Lap
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 52 1 Lap
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 52 1 Lap
18 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 51 2 Laps
19 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 51 2 Laps
Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 44 Retirement

Driver’s Championship

POS DRIVER POINTS
1 Lewis Hamilton 187
2 Valtteri Bottas 151
3 Sebastian Vettel 111
4 Max Verstappen 100
5 Charles Leclerc 87
6 Pierre Gasly 37
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. 26
8 Kimi Raikkonen 19
9 Daniel Ricciardo 16
10 Nico Hulkenberg 16
11 Kevin Magnussen 14
12 Lando Norris 14
13 Sergio Perez 13
14 Daniil Kvyat 10
15 Alexander Albon 7
16 Lance Stroll 6
17 Romain Grosjean 2
18 Antonio Giovinazzi 0
19 George Russell 0
20 Robert Kubica 0

Constructor’s Championship

POS CONSTRUCTOR POINTS
1 Mercedes 338
2 Ferrari 198
3 Red Bull/Honda 137
4 McLaren/Renault 40
5 Renault 32
6 Racing Point/Mercedes 19
7 Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 19
8 Toro Rosso/Honda 17
9 Haas/Ferrari 16
10 Williams/Mercedes 0

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Tim C.
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Tim C.

Another race recorded on the DVR to watch later today, but another race that will be deleted before ever pushing play to watch it. I completely understand why people are turning away from F1.

photogcw
Member
photogcw

Yes, another dull race from Paul Ricard, just like last year. One must wonder if the race would be any better in going back to Magny Cours. The issue I found most profound was the empty grandstands all over the track including the front straight across from the pit lane. FIA, Liberty Media and F1 have a huge problem and they should be addressing it immediately.

Fabio
Member
Fabio

Wonder if Horner is looking to get a Renault engine now?

jtr
Member
jtr

Why? Max easily ran away from the Renault-powered cars, and Renault has already had at least three engine-related retirements this year to Honda’s zero. The Honda looks to be right around the same power as the Renault, with better reliability and better integration into the RBR/STR chassis. What Red Bull needs is a number two driver who can overtake someone, ANYONE, while in a superior car to everyone around him. This is the second race this year where he’s finished tenth or below in a race where he has had no mechanical issues or on-track incidents; in both cases, his… Read more »

F1Great
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F1Great

LH qualifying was not perfect but enough to take pole.
Controlled start and measured race.
Well done LH and Mercedes. Bottas looks defeated.
If you do not like this F1 use the off button.

Bruno
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Bruno

We all say that F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, but in the current state of affairs, it is definitely not the category providing better entertainment and competitiveness. Moto GP and IndyCar are just a few examples of series with better racing. F1 is losing itself in politics and corporate interests and the teams with less resources stand no change to compete fairly. Not to mention the incredibly dull tracks, the racing rules babysitting the drivers and the absurdity of tyre compounds. All of this masks what really is impressive, which is the groundbreaking technology used in modern F1 and… Read more »

Nick
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Nick

I really don’t understand how people can continually bang on about boredom, dominance, too much winning ……. it was the same in Fangio’s time and in Schumacher’s as well. What we’re watching is nothing less than an absolute maestro at work. Yes, you might bemoan the fact that there’s not wheel-to-wheel racing at every corner, but the reality is that this is rarely the case in F1. This being the case, people can choose to watch it or not but should do so without the expectation of Nascar-like super-close racing with manufactured competition cautions, restrictor plate engines and the like.… Read more »

Jason
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Jason

Didnt bother watching. No exciting passing and plenty of dumb penalties. Watched Road America instead. Ive switched full time fan of that. Even the ovals Rooting for our boy RSI

F1Great
Guest
F1Great

F1 is strategic.
LH is exceptional.
Watch something else.