Formula 1 is in action this weekend for round eight of the 2019 season at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.
Lewis Hamilton is very much the driver to beat going into the weekend having won the last three Grand Prix, although the last round in Canada he won under controversial circumstances.Embed from Getty Images
Other drivers on form include Daniel Ricciardo who goes into the weekend on the back of achieving his first back to back points finishes in 2019, having finished ninth in Monaco and sixth in Canada, ahead of Renault’s home race.
Also on form is Daniil Kvyat for Toro Rosso who has managed to finish in the points in the last three Grand Prix having finished ninth in Spain, seventh in Monaco and tenth in Canada.
In need of a result
Valtteri Bottas is in need of a result, being the current driver closest to challenging Hamilton he will need to claw back part of the twenty nine point deficit he has to Hamilton if he wishes to remain a serious challenger for the 2019 title.
Kimi Raikkonen and to a greater extent his Alfa Romeo team also need a strong result from the French Grand Prix as Raikkonen and Alfa Romeo haven’t scored points since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, leaving the team ninth in the Constructors’ standings.
Lastly, Sergio Perez is another who could do with a point scoring weekend, having also failed to finish inside the points since Azerbaijan.
Been there, done that
The French Grand Prix only returned to the series last season meaning there are very few drivers on the current grid to have won a Formula 1 French Grand Prix let alone one at Paul Ricard which itself has not hosted a Formula 1 race (prior to 2018) since 1990.
It means that only Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen have a French Grand Prix victory to their name in the series with Raikkonen’s triumph coming at the 2008 edition at Magny-Cours.
Of the rookies, George Russell won the Formula 2 feature race last season with ART, while Lando Norris finished fifth in the sprint race and Alex Albon finished seventh in the sprint race.
The 2018 French Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton take pole position and go on to win with Valtteri Bottas claiming the fastest lap.
It was notable for Vettel’s collision with Bottas at the very start of the race going into the first turn which saw Vettel pit for repairs and incur a penalty. It meant that Hamilton shared the podium with Verstappen (Red Bull) and Raikkonen (Ferrari).
The two Renault’s finished in the points at their home Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz finishing eighth while Hulkenberg finished ninth.
It wasn’t a great race for French drivers with both Esteban Ocon (Force India) and Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) retiring after a collision on the opening lap while Romain Grosjean (Haas) slipped down the field and finished outside the points in eleventh.