FRENCH GP

 

Qualifying     Grid      Race    

 

Round 8 – Paul Ricard - 22 to 24 June 2018

 

All times UK

Day

Session

Times

Sky

Channel 4

Fri 22nd

FP1

1100 to 1230

1030 to 1250

 

 

FP2

1500 to 1630

1445 to 1650

 

Sat 23rd 

FP3

1200 to 1300

1145 to 1315

 

 

Qual

1500 to 1600-ish

1400 to 1645

Recording: 1830 to 2010

Sun 24th  

Race

1510 to 1640-ish

1330 to 1810

Recording: 2210 to 0010

 

Tyre Allocation for this race:

 

Soft / Supersoft /Ultrasoft

 

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Individual driver’s tyre choices:

 

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Soft

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Super Soft

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Ultra Soft

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

1

3

9

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

2

2

9

Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

1

3

9

Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

2

2

9

Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

3

3

7

Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

3

3

7

Sergio Perez (Force India)

3

2

8

Esteban Ocon (Force India)

3

2

8

Lance Stroll (Williams)

1

2

10

Sergey Sirotkin (Williams)

2

1

10

Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)

2

2

9

Carlos Sainz (Renault)

1

3

9

Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso)

1

4

8

Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso)

2

3

8

Romain Grosjean (Haas)

2

3

8

Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

1

4

8

Fernando Alonso (McLaren)

2

2

9

Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)

2

2

9

Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)

2

2

9

Charles Leclerc (Sauber)

1

3

9

 

FP1:

·      Not much to be taken from the times in this session, although interesting to see Grosjean and Gasly up there. Let’s see what happens in FP2.

·      Current circuit configuration hasn’t been used for F1 before so the drivers spent a little bit of time learning how the track was, and bit more time seeing how the tyres stood up , or otherwise to the track surface, and even more time coping with the wind, which upsets the aerodynamics quite significantly. All the drivers missed the barriers except Ericsson, whose rear tyres lost adhesion in a big and very sudden way and he slid sideways into the wall having crossed a lot of run-off with out losing a lot of speed. The impact didn’t harm him but had an adverse effect on the car, which caught fire while he was still in it. He got out fairly quickly once he saw the fire marshals spraying extinguishant over the back of his car!

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

1m32.231s

2

Bottas

Mercedes

 

3

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

 

4

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

5

Vettel

Ferrari

 

6

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

1m33.318s

7

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

8

Gasly

Toro Rosso-Honda

 

9

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

 

10

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

 

11

Sainz

Renault

1m34.258s

12

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

13

Leclerc

Sauber-Ferrari

 

14

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

 

15

Hartley

Toro Rosso-Honda

 

16

Alonso

McLaren-Renault

 

17

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

 

18

Hulkenberg

Renault

 

19

Vandoorne

McLaren-Renault

 

20

Sirotkin

Williams-Mercedes

1m35.105s

 

FP2:

Ericsson’s car was very badly damaged in FP1 so he had no car to go out in. Perez hit a snag half way through the session when his left rear wheel came off during a high speed run.  He and the rest of the car where OK.  Hartley was told to stop his car in a safe place right towards the end but I don’t know why!  Bottas’ car developed a water leak so he missed his last high speed run and all his race setup time.

 

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

1m32.539s

2

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

 

3

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

4

Raikkonen

Ferrari

1m33.426s

5

Vettel

Ferrari

 

6

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

 

7

Bottas

Mercedes

 

8

Alonso

McLaren-Renault

 

9

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

 

10

Gasly

Toro Rosso-Honda

1m34.535s

11

Hulkenberg

Renault

 

12

Sainz

Renault

 

13

Vandoorne

McLaren-Renault

 

14

Leclerc

Sauber-Ferrari

1m35.583s

15

Hartley

Toro Rosso-Honda

 

16

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

17

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

 

18

Sirotkin

Williams-Mercedes

 

19

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

1m36.080s

20

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

No time

 

FP3:

Started raining after a few minutes and by minute 11 everyone was in their garages. Although the top-13 set times in the dry they are utterly meaningless.  More to the point is that a handful of drivers went out after 50 minutes and got some wet-running experience, which, since the forecast is for a wet qualifying session, could be invaluable.  Funnily enough those that did go out were, with the exception of Alonso, the less experienced drivers. Did the front-runners all think they would be able to understand this completely new surface in the rain without any previous runs? We shall see.

Those who did go out in the rain: Alonso, Leclerc, Vandoorne, Gasly, and Hartley but none of these did a timed lap.  Stroll and Sirotkin also went out and did set times, which out of interest only were 2m02.799s and 2m04.093s respectively – compared to Bottas’ dry time of 1m33.666s.

I await qualifying with interest!

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Bottas

Mercedes

 

2

Sainz

Renault

 

3

Leclerc

Sauber-Ferrari

+ wet run

4

Alonso

McLaren-Renault

+ wet run

5

Vettel

Ferrari

 

6

Vandoorne

McLaren-Renault

+ wet run

7

Gasly

Toro Rosso-Honda

+ wet run

8

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

 

9

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

 

10

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

 

11

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

12

Hamilton

Mercedes

 

13

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

14

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

Wet time only

15

Sirotkin

Williams-Mercedes

Wet time only

16

Hartley

Toro Rosso-Honda

Wet run but no time

17

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

No time

18

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

No time

19

Hulkenberg

Renault

No time

20

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

No time

 

Q1:

A dry session with dramas except for the performance of McLaran. A pity the rules don’t allow then to get the 2017 chassis out of mothballs and put this year’s engine in it.

At the beginning of the year Williams said it had no qualms about putting two rookies in their cars this year, I wonder what they would say now if honesty was mandatory!! With the self same engines as the works Mercedes team, it’s fairly obvious to anyone with half an eye that the chassis is rubbish, but their inexperienced drivers don’t have the skills to do anything about it.  When Stroll went out in the rain in FP3 and had to ask his engineer how to switch on the rain light (the rear red light that is mandatory in wet conditions) one has to ask some questions!!!

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

1m31.271s 

2

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

3

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

4

Bottas

Mercedes

 

5

Vettel

Ferrari

6

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

7

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

8

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

1m32.169s

9

Sainz

Renault

10

Gasly

Toro Rosso-Honda

11

Leclerc

Sauber-Ferrari

12

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

13

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

14

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

 

15

Hulkenberg

Renault

1m32.949s 

16

Alonso

McLaren-Renault

1m32.976s 

17

Hartley

Toro Rosso-Honda

 

18

Vandoorne

McLaren-Renault

1m33.162s 

19

Sirotkin

Williams-Mercedes

 

20

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

1m33.729s 

 

Q2:

Light drizzle about, but not enough to affect things. Leclerc did well to get through Q2.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

1m30.645s 

2

Vettel

Ferrari

 

3

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

4

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

5

Bottas

Mercedes

6

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

7

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

8

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

1m31.538s

9

Sainz

Renault

10

Leclerc

Sauber-Ferrari

1m32.055s

11

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

1m32.075s

12

Hulkenberg

Renault

13

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

 

14

Gasly

Toro Rosso-Honda

 

15

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

1m32.820s 

 

Q3:

The light drizzle eased off. Grosjean had crashed on his first run, and brought out the red flags while they cleared away the mess. Leclerc did very well indeed to beat Magnussen, although I wonder if they will take away his fastest lap for exceeding track limits!!

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

1m30.029s 

2

Bottas

Mercedes

 

3

Vettel

Ferrari

 

4

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

5

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

6

Raikkonen

Ferrari

1m31.057s

7

Sainz

Renault

1m32.126s

8

Leclerc

Sauber-Ferrari

9

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

1m32.930s

10

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

No time

 

GRID:

Hartley  awarded a raft of penalties for changing pretty much the whole of the back of his car except the bodywork and suspension!!

Assuming Leclerc gets away with cutting a corner to gain his 8th place, and no other penalties are awarded the grid should look like this.

Pos

Driver

Car

Pts

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

20

 

2

Bottas

Mercedes

19

 

3

Vettel

Ferrari

18

 

4

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

17

 

5

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

16

6

Raikkonen

Ferrari

15

7

Sainz

Renault

14

8

Leclerc

Sauber-Ferrari

13

9

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

12

10

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

11

11

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

10

12

Hulkenberg

Renault

9

13

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

8

 

14

Gasly

Toro Rosso-Honda

7

 

15

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

6

 

16

Alonso

McLaren-Renault

5

 

17

Vandoorne

McLaren-Renault

4

 

18

Sirotkin

Williams-Mercedes

3

 

19

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

2

 

20

Hartley

Toro Rosso-Honda

1

Penalty 

 

RACE:

·      Very eventful race. First lap carnage accounted for Gasly and Ocon when they collided and put paid the good results for Bottas and Vettel when the latter outbraked himself and his front wing punctured the Fin’s left rear and damaged the floor of the car. Vettel received a 5 second penalty for causing an avoidable accident and everyone decided it was too lenient because he still finished ahead of Bottas. Interesting quote from Verstappen at the press conference when he had a go at the journalists generally, saying that when he crashed into Ricciardo they all said he should change his attitude and style of driving, so they should now go and say the same to Vettel…!!!

·      The rest of the race was taken up with battles up and down the order with plenty of overtaking. Sainz lost a couple of places when he reported a drop in power from his Renault engine only for it to pick up again, but he couldn’t recover the lost places.

·      Alonso complained about carrying on when he had “no brakes, out of the points” when running 12th. He then pitted late, put on ultrasoft tyres and was going to go for fastest lap (to get something from the weekend!) but his rear left suspension broke and that was that.

Pos

Driver

Car

Laps

Pts

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

53

20

 

2

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

53

19

 

3

Raikkonen

Ferrari

53

18

 

4

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

53

17

 

5

Vettel

Ferrari

53

16

 

6

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

53

15

 

7

Bottas

Mercedes

53

14

 

8

Sainz

Renault

53

13

 

9

Hulkenberg

Renault

53

12

 

10

Leclerc

Sauber-Ferrari

53

11

 

11

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

52

10

 

12

Vandoorne

McLaren-Renault

52

9

 

13

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

52

8

 

14

Hartley

Toro Rosso-Honda

52

7

 

15

Sirotkin

Williams-Mercedes

52

6

 

16

Alonso

McLaren-Renault

50

5

Rear susp.

17

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

48

4

Puncture

18

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

27

3

Water leak

19

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

0

2

Accident

20

Gasly

Toro Rosso-Honda

0

1

Accident

 

 

 

 

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© Ian Bushnell, 2018