Grand Prix of France – Race


There were 2 investigations outstanding at the end of Qualifying yesterday:

  • Incident involving RAI and RIC will be investigated after the session (for leaving track)
  • Incident involving RAI and GRO will be investigated after the session (for unsafe rejoining track)

“The stewards ruled Ricciardo took reasonable steps to avoid holding up Raikkonen and also ruled the Alfa Romeo driver had not unnecessarily impeded Romain Grosjean after going off in Q1.” [racefans.net]

Provisional grid: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, NOR, SAI, VET, RIC, GAS, GIO, ALB, RAI, HUL, PER, MAG, GRO, STR, KUB, RUS*, KVY*
*RUS and KVY have penalties for new engine components

Cars are parked on the grid; drivers dashing to the front for the anthem
Apparently Ferrari have had to make some last minute tweaks to VET’s car
RIC’s car is straddling some cement dust that’s been used to dry up oil dropped in a support race

It’s another warm day – air temperature 26°C; track 56°C; wind is gusting
The front 8 are starting on medium compound tyres; GAS and GIO on softs; behind them it’s a mix of medium and hard

HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap; he’s having to crawl through the last few corners to get everyone to close up, so he doesn’t have to sit waiting for too long

01/53: SAI challenging VER into Turn 1
LEC holding on to P3
SAI still harrying VER

02: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, SAI, NOR, VET, GAS, GIO, RIC, RAI, HUL, PER, MAG, STR, ALB, KUB, GRO, RUS, KVY
NOR has VET closing on him

03: DRS now enabled
VER fastest lap 1:37.252
Radio from VER – “I’m not pulling out of the corners – there’s a lag”; “standby”

04: HAM f/lap 1:36.751
SAI has dropped back from VER

05/53: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, SAI, NOR, VET
VET past NOT for P6

07: HAM f/lap 1:35.959
VET uses DRS to take P5 from SAI

08: GIO pits; replaces soft tyres with hard ones; rejoins P20
Radio for LEC – “We’re going to Plan A”; telling him to close the gap to
KVY past GRO for P16

09: HAM f/lap 1:35.928
Lap 1 incident involving PER under investigation – leaving the track and gaining an advantage

10/53: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, VET, SAI, NOR, GAS, RIC, RAI
HAM f/lap 1:35.741
5sec penalty for PER

11: HAM f/lap 1:35.708

12: HAM f/lap 1:35.495
BOT f/lap 1:35.448

13: STR takes P13 from MAG

14: HAM f/lap 1:35.339

15/53: HAM f/lap 1:34.811
Radio from GAS asking for more power
ALB makes a strong pass on MAG for P14

16: HAM f/lap 1:34.803
KVY also passes MAG
How is GAS still running on soft tyres?

17: GIO takes P18 from KUB
RIC pits; hard tyres go on; rejoins P16
MAG pits; hards too; rejoins P20

18: GAS pits from P8; softs replaced by hards; rejoins P15

19: RIC takes P15 from GAS
NOR pits, followed by PER, who serves his 5sec penalty

20/53: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, VET, SAI, RAI, HUL, STR, ALB, KVY, NOR, GRO, RIC, GAS, PER, GIO, RUS, KUB, MAG
SAI pits; hards; rejoins P10
NOR tucked up behind KVY

21: VER pits from P4; hards; P5
Delayed radio for VET telling him to do the opposite of VER, so VET stays out
Radio for VET – “Go as long as possible”

22: LEC pits from P3; hards; rejoins P4
Radio for VER telling him to push harder; VER says he’s still struggling for power

23: Double yellow flags in Turn 1

24: HAM f/lap 1:34.683
BOT pits from P2; hards; rejoins P3

25/53: HAM pits from P1; hards; rejoins still P1
HAM, VET, BOT, LEC, VER, RAI, HUL, STR, ALB, SAI, NOR, KVY, GRO, RIC, GAS, PER, GIO, MAG, RUS, KUB
Radio from VET – he wants to pit because he flat-spotted his front left

26: VET pits from P2; hards; rejoins P5

Half distance

28: RIC trying to pass GRO; GRO runs wide; RIC takes P12
Radio from GRO complaining about the pass – he thinks RIC was off-track

29: HAM f/lap 1:34.319
BOT f/lap 1:34.250
Radio for LEC asking if he can push harder; LEC says yes but it won’t be good for the tyres

30/53: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, VET, RAI, HUL, STR, SAI, NOR
ALB takes P16 from GIO
Radio for RIC reminding him to drink; RIC says he tried but it’s not connected

31: HAM f/lap 1:34.026

32: HAM f/lap 1:34.003
RAI pits; started on hards, so switches to mediums; rejoins P12

33: RIC inside KVY for P10

35/53: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, VET, HUL, STR, SAI, NOR, RIC, RAI, GAS, PER, ALB…
HUL and RUS pit, followed by GIO

37: NOR closing on team-mate SAI
Incident involving RIC and GRO – no investigation necessary

38: Radio from NOR asking the team to tell SAI to pick up his pace

40/53: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, VET, STR, SAI, NOR, RIC, RAI, HUL, GAS, PER, ALB, KVY, GRO, MAG, GIO, KUB, RUS
Radio for NOR warning him there’s a problem with DRS – don’t use it
STR makes his first stop; hards replaced by mediums; rejoins P13

41: LEC f/lap 1:33.828

42: HAM f/lap 1:33.724

43: HAM f/lap 1:33.720
Radio from NOR – “I’m having really bad upshifts”; “this is part of the problem we’re managing”

44 = 10 laps left: BOT f/lap 1:33.586
Radio for VET – “Plan F” (does that mean Fastest lap?)
Radio for HAM telling him VET has a “free stop” (50sec gap to SAI) so he’ll go for fastest lap

45/53: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, VET, STR, SAI, NOR, RIC, RAI, HUL
RIC closing on NOR
ALB defending from teammate KVY

46: Radio for NOR warning to expect heavier steering as the problem develops

47: Radio for GRO – “we need to retire the car”
GRO pits; retires

49: HUL all over the rear of RAI
HAM laps RIC (P9)
KVY passes teammate ALB for P14
Radio for HAM warning him of NOR’s problem as he closes to lap the McLaren

50/53: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, VET, SAI, NOR, RIC, RAI, HUL
Is that a bollard rolling across the track?
Virtual Safety Car deployed
Marshal runs across the track to grab the bollard

51[VSC]: VSC ended
Radio from VER – tyres are pretty f** (bleeped)

52: RIC closing on the troubled NOR
VET pits from P5; soft tyres go on; rejoins still P5
RIC all over the rear of NOR

53 = final lap: LEC has closed up on BOT
RIC passes NOR … as do RAI and HUL

HAM takes the chequered flag
HAM f/lap 1:32.764
BOT P2, LEC P3, VER P4
VET P5, f/lap 1:32.740

Last lap incident involving RIC and RAI under investigation
Replay shows RIC went too deep into the chicane as he passed NOR; RIC rejoined and pushed NOR wide; RAI passed them both; NOR rejoined but HUL passed him; RIC attacking RAI; RIC was off track as he passed RAI – yes, I think RIC deserves a penalty

Provisional result: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, VET, SAI, RIC, RAI, HUL, NOR; GAS, PER, STR, KVY, ALB, GIO, MAG, KUB, RUS
DNF: GRO
Fastest lap: VET

HAM: “I’ve been racing a long, long time and it never gets old”; apparently his seat broke!
BOT: “Not much was happening from my side”; “he (HAM) in not unbeatable”
LEC: “I gave it everything”; “In the last 2 laps I was catching him (BOT) quite quickly”

Oh dear FIA – the quote from Jackie Stewart (on the wall in the cooldown / pre-podium room) says “80 year’s in the making” – really, “year’s” – did no-one check this? 🙁
And what was with the French military band’s version of the British national anthem?

Reminder: there’s still the last lap incident with RIC, RAI and NOR under investigation…
…and here’s the outcome of that investigation:
“Ricciardo handed two post-race time penalties, loses French GP points” – https://henman.ca/2019/06/23/grand-prix-of-france-race-2/#comment-1974

Revised result: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, VET, SAI, RAI, HUL, NOR, GAS; RIC, PER, STR, KVY, ALB, GIO, MAG, KUB, RUS