Who Will Win the First French Grand Prix for Ten Years this Weekend?
For many years up until 2008, the French Grand Prix was a regular fixture on the Formula 1 calendar. However, after a dispute with then F1 owner Bernie Ecclestone, Magny Cours was deemed no longer fit for F1 for a variety of reasons and the French Grand Prix, an event that had been one of the top races of the calendar, disappeared from the F1 schedule.
A change of owner in F1 together with a change of circuit from Magny Cours to the Paul Ricard Circuit near Marseille (which last hosted the race in 1990), has seen the French Grand Prix reinstated this year onto the calendar for the first time in ten years. As such, only two drivers racing at the weekend will know what it is like to win a race in the French Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen won the race back in 2007 while Fernando Alonso took the chequered flag back in 2005.
The last winner of the French Grand Prix in 2008 was Felipe Massa who won that race for Ferrari. The Tifosi have an excellent record at the French race in particular, racking up 17 victories over the years, nine more than any of their constructor rivals. In contrast, Mercedes last win in the French Grand Prix came back in 1954.
Of course ,if you fancy a flutter on the race then Coral Sport is the place to head. The site offers extensive F1 betting for qualifying and the race itself, with plenty of in play betting available too. You can sign up with any Coral site’s offer (Coral Vegas’ £10 No Deposit Bonus offer is worth a look especially if you bet on a mobile) and still get access to the sports betting site from your single log in.
So, with the return of one of the most famous races in the F1 Calendar, there is plenty of interest in this race and the betting on it. Before we give you our race preview and tips, let’s see where we stand in the F1 season so far.
The Formula 1 Season So Far
Race Results for Opening Seven Races
- Australia – 1st Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), 2nd Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 3rd Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
- Bahrain – 1st Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), 2nd Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), 3rd Lewis Hamiton (Mercedes)
- China – 1st Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), 2nd Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), 3rd Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
- Azerbaijan – 1st Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 2nd Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), 3rd Sergio Perez (Force India)
- Spain – 1st Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 2nd Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), 3rd Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
- Monaco – 1st Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), 2nd Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), 3rd Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- Canada – 1st Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), 2nd Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), 3rd Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
Remaining Races (with dates)
- 24th June – French Grand Prix
- 1st July – Austrian Grand Prix
- 8th July – British Grand Prix
- 22nd July – German Grand Prix
- 29th July – Hungarian Grand Prix
- Mid-Season Break
- 26th August – Belgian Grand Prix
- 2nd September – Italian Grand Prix
- 16th September – Singapore Grand Prix
- 30th September – Russian Grand Prix
- 7th October – Japanese Grand Prix
- 21st October – United States Grand Prix
- 28th October – Mexican Grand Prix
- 11th November – Brazilian Grand Prix
- 25th November – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
So far it has been a relatively even start to the season. Ferrari seemed to have closed the gap on Mercedes, as do Red Bull and we have had all three constructor’s vehicles on the winners podium in the opening seven races (Ferrari three times, Mercedes and Red Bull twice apiece).
However, only three drivers, Vettel, Hamilton and Ricciardo have won races, although Valtteri Bottas has earned four second place finishes in those races and Lewis Hamilton has finished outside the top three just twice. For Ferrari drivers, it does seem to be feast or famine, with Vettel either winning the race, or not appearing in the top three.
Only once has a non-Ferrari, Red Bull or Mercedes car finished on the podium so far this season, that being Force India’s third place by Sergio Perez at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) – 121
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 120
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 86
- Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) – 84
- Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) – 68
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 50
- Fernando Alonso (McLaren) – 32
- Nick Hulkenberg (Renault) – 32
- Carlos Sainz (Renault) – 24
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – 19
- Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) – 18
- Sergio Perez (Force India) – 17
- Esteban Ocon (Force India) – 11
- Charles Leclerc (Sauber) – 10
- Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) – 8
- Lance Stroll (Williams) – 4
- Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) – 2
- Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso) – 1
- Roman Grosjean (Renault) – 0
- Sergey Sirotkin (Williams) – 0
- Mercedes – 206
- Ferrari – 189
- Red Bull – 134
- Renault – 56
- McLaren – 40
- Force India – 28
- Toro Rosso – 19
- Haas – 19
- Sauber – 12
- Williams – 4
The driver’s and constructor’s championships both look very tight so far this season and that can only be a good thing for fans and critics of F1 as in recent years, we have seen one man and one team dominate the season. The Hamilton v Vettel rivalry seems set to continue with just one point separating the two driver’s heading into France this weekend, while Mercedes hold a slight lead over Ferrari in the constructor’s, but Red Bull are not too far from making this a genuine three-horse race.
French Grand Prix – Preview and Tips
Everything is pointing to an exciting return to the F1 calendar at the French Grand Prix this weekend,with just one point between Hamilton and Vettel in the driver’s championship, plus the likes od Ricciardo and Bottas in particular looking to snatch a win to bring them more into contention, the top drivers will certainly have plenty to race for at the weekend.
Equally, Ferrari will want to keep chipping away at Mercedes lead in the constructors, while a strong showing from Red Bull would really move them into contention and make it a three-way battle. This is precisely the excitement that both these championships have lacked in previous years and it does make the races more intriguing.
Paul Ricard is a circuit which is famous for its long straights and as a result, it will be the most powerful car that can convert its horse-power into flat-line speed, that will likely shine here. That sounds like good news for Mercedes, who feel that they have the edge in speed over Ferrari and as such, that bodes well for Hamilton and Bottas.
However Red Bull have shown good straight line speed in recent races and in those races, Mercedes have struggled at times, with some technical issues robbing them of additional horse-power at crucial times. This makes for an intriguing race come Sunday.
- Our Tip – Lewis Hamilton to win 6/4 with Coral
Qualifying for the race will be crucial but I think Hamilton at 6/4 is the sensible pre-race bet here. Mercedes, all being well, have the fastest car and that is crucial on this circuit. Hamilton is the more consistent driver than Bottas and I think he is due a win after a poor performance by the team last time out.