Grand Prix of France – Race

The weather may play a big part in today’s race – the forecast says 60% chance of rain during the afternoon, but maybe not until the tail end of the race.

Qualifying saw a great performance from LEC in the Sauber (teammate ERI qualified P15 after a spin caused a fire in FP1). At the other end, Williams had another terrible session (SIR and STR were bottom of the Q1 times) and McLaren didn’t fare much better (VAN and ALO also failed to progress to Q2).

Provisional grid: HAM, BOT, VET, VER, RIC, RAI, SAI, LEC, MAG, GRO, OCO, HUL, PER, GAS, ERI, ALO, VAN, SIR, STR, HAR*
*HAR starts at the back of the grid thanks to 35 grid spot penalties for new engine parts

It’s interesting to hear the feedback from the drivers about the circuit layout – makes me wonder how the FIA approved it without consulting anyone with F1 driving experience. The main concerns are safety related (the pit entrance seems to put the Mercedes mechanics at risk) and simply about racing (the drivers want to remove the chicane that breaks up the Mistral straight). I wonder why these weren’t discussed well before the race weekend.

Air temperature 24°C; track 42°C; humidity 45%

French national anthem; that’s a lot of flags in the main stand

HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap
Remember Mercedes and Red Bull are all starting on supersoft tyres; the Ferrari pair are on ultrasofts; behind them, the next 4 cars are on softs

01/53: BOT spun around – VET hit him
OCO and GAS collide – both out
Safety Car deployed

02[SC]: HAM, VER, SAI, RIC, MAG, LEC, RAI, GRO, PER, HUL, ERI, VAN, ERI
A lot of people heading into the pits
BOT finally makes it back with a rear left puncture

03[SC]: Replay of OCO/GAS incident – OCO swapped sides of the track to avoid a car (PER?) and GAS had nowhere to go
Incident involving VET and BOT under investigation
Radio from HAM, checking the Turn 1 wasn’t anything to do with him

04[SC]: Another replay of the first lap; this time RAI hit someone
Radio from VER reporting there’s still carbon fibre shards on the track

05/53[SC]: HAM, VER, SAI, RIC, MAG, LEC, RAI, GRO, PER, HUL, ERI, VAN, HAR, STR, SIR, ALO, VET, BOT; retirements: OCO, GAS
SC in at the end of this lap
HAM backing everyone up as the SC heads for the pit lane

06: BOT fastest lap 2:05.433 (but that’s from the final SC lap)
ALO spins around in Turn 4
RAI takes P6 from LEC

07: HAM f/lap 1:37.688
GRO attacking LEC; GRO runs wide

08: HAM f/lap 1:37.454
DRS enabled
VET puts all 4 wheels off track, attacks ERI and takes P12

09: HAM f/lap 1:36.933
VET given 5sec penalty for causing collision with BOT
(VET is now on soft tyres and might go to the end without another stop)
RAI easily past SAI for P4

10/53: HAM, VER, RIC, RAI, SAI, MAG, LEC, GRO, PER, HUL, VET, VAN, BOT, HAR, ERI, STR, SIR, ALO

11: VET inside HUL for P10

12: ALO takes P17 from SIR
Incident involving GRO under investigation – leaving the track on lap 1 and gaining an advantage

13: VET up to P9 after passing PER

14: BOT closing on HUL
GRO doesn’t put up a fight as VET takes P8

15/53: PER defends but HUL takes P10
Almost immediately BOT now attacks PER; round the outside to take P11

16: HAM, VER, RIC, RAI, SAI, MAG, LEC, VET, HUL, GRO, BOT, PER, VAN, HAR, ERI, STR, ALO, SIR
Mercedes have confirmed BOT’s car has floor damage thanks to the collision VET caused

17: RAI f/lap 1:36.769
VET closing on LEC
Pretty easy pass for VET to take P7

18: HAM f/lap 1:36.637
VET takes P6 from MAG

19: HAM f/lap 1:36.478

20/53: HAM, VER, RIC, RAI, SAI, VET, MAG, LEC, HUL, BOT, GRO, PER, VAN, HAR, ERI, ALO, STR, SIR; retirements: OCO, GAS
HAM f/lap 1:36.448
SAI gives up P6 to VET

21: HAM f/lap 1:36.387
BOT takes P10 from GRO
Radio from GRO whining that BOT “pushed” him off track – that’s not what we saw on TV
Radio for ALO – “possible rain in 20 minutes”

22: LEC closing on MAG

24: HAM f/lap 1:36.375
LEC runs wide; HUL takes P8

25/53: HAM f/lap 1:36.178
Radio from LEC – “there’s something wrong with the tyres”
BOT closing on LEC

26: VER pits from P2; softs go on; rejoins P4, just ahead of VET

Half distance

27: HAM f/lap 1:35.663
5sec penalty for SIR for driving unnecessarily slowly behind the SC
No further action for GRO’s “gaining an advantage” on lap 1

29: RIC pits from P2; softs; rejoins P5, behind VET
MAG and PER pit too
Long stop for PER – looks like they’re going to retire the Force India

30/53: HAM, RAI, VER, VET, RIC, HUL, BOT, LEC, GRO, VAN, SAI, HAR, MAG, ERI, ALO, STR, SIR

31: MAG takes P12 from HAR into the chicane
Incident involving GRO under investigation – causing a collision on lap 1 (yes, they’re still reviewing lap 1!)

32: GRO given 5sec penalty for causing collision
LEC pits; supersofts go on; rejoins P16

33: VER f/lap 1:35.598
LEC takes P15 from STR

34: HAM pits from P1; softs go on; rejoins P2 behind RAI who has yet to pit
RIC closing on VET
VET runs a bit wide, and RIC steals P4

35/53: RAI ptis from P1; supersofts go on; rejoins P5
VER f/lap 1:35.581
Christian Horner confirms a wheel balancing weight came off as VER left the pits, so that’s the cause of his vibration

36: HAM f/lap 1:35.348

37: VER f/lap 1:35.155
RAI f/lap 1:34.810 – that’s 2sec/lap quicker than VET

38: HUL pits

39 = 15 laps to go: LEC squeezes past HAR to steal P11
RAI all over the rear wing of his teammate, VET
VET doesn’t fight as RAI passes him for P4

40/53: HAM, VER, RIC, RAI, VET, BOT, SAI, MAG, VAN, HUL, LEC, ALO, GRO, STR, SIR, ERI, HAR
Radio from ALO – “no brakes, no tyres, we’re out of the points”
BOT pits from P6; long stop – problem with rear right; rejoins P9

41: VET pits; serves 5sec penalty; ultrasofts go on; rejoins still P5

42: RAI f/lap 1:34.594
BOT f/lap 1:34.225

43: BOT takes P8 from HUL

44: Radio for RAI telling him “RIC might have a problem”

45/53: HAM, VER, RIC, RAI, VET, SAI, MAG, BOT, HUL, LEC, GRO, ALO, VAN, STR, SIR, ERI, HAR
VAN closing on teammate ALO

46: RAI closing on RIC as they fight through some backmarkers
VAN takes P12 from ALO

47: RAI under 1sec behind RIC so he now has DRS to help
RAI tries a few times before he can make it stick; takes P3

48: ALO pits; ultrasofts go on; rejoins dead last (P17)

49: Christian Horner reports RIC has damage to his front wing
ERI past STR for P15; STR fights back

50/53: HAM, VER, RAI, RIC, VET, SAI, MAG, BOT, HUL, LEC, GRO, VAN, ERI, HAR, STR, SIR, ALO
Radio from SAI – “I have no power”
MAG and BOT sweep past SAI

51: STR’s front left tyre goes bang – he’s off
Virtual Safety Car deployed
STR gets out of his Williams but the marshals want him to get back in and steer it

52[VSC]: There’s still debris on the track from STR’s tyre destroying some bodywork

53[VSC] = final lap: HAM, VER, RAI, RIC, VET, MAG, BOT, SAI, HUL, LEC, GRO, VAN, ERI, HAR, SIR, ALO
VSC ends but there’s still a double yellow protecting STR’s car

HAM takes the chequered flag
ALO heads into the pits – looks like his rear left suspension was broken

Provisional result: HAM, VER, RAI, RIC, VET, MAG, BOT, SAI, HUL, LEC; GRO, VAN, ERI, HAR, SIR, ALO
DNF: STR, PER, OCO, GAS

Interesting to hear HAM & VER discuss how the tyre compounds were too hard, and that 5 seconds is hardly a penalty for taking someone out. (Yup!)

How can people be voting for VET as driver of the day? This is why democracy is broken! 😐

It’s just one week until the Austrian Grand Prix.

3 Replies to “Grand Prix of France – Race”

  1. “Renault have been issued a fine for Carlos Sainz Jnr speeding in the pit lane during the French Grand Prix.

    A reduced speed limit of 60kph was put in place for the race weekend due to concerns about the layout of the Paul Ricard pit lane. Sainz was found to have exceeded it by 5.5kkph when he returned to the pits at the end of the race.

    Renault was issued a €600 fine for the offense, with no time penalty against the driver.”

    https://www.racefans.net/2018/06/24/renault-fined-post-race-for-sainz-pit-lane-speeding/

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