Photo: Mercedes F1 team
After two less good race weekends in Monaco and Azerbaijan, Mercedes again seems a lot more competitive in France. After all, we find Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton at the very top, followed by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in the Red Bull.
Last year there was no racing on the Paul Ricard circuit due to the coronavirus pandemic, so it is again for all drivers to adjust to the circuit. No surprise that as a newcomer to Formula 1 you make a spin.
The Paul Ricard circuit remains treacherous for the more experienced drivers, however. For example, Valtteri Bottas broke his front wing when he went too wide, luckily the Finn made it back into the pitlane.
Four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel also made a mistake. With the German, however, the damage was somewhat greater because Vettel ended up with his rear wing in the tire wall.
During the practice session, the drivers increasingly push the limits of both the car and the track. On the Paul Ricard circuit there are very large and wide run-off areas, but they are not just painted ‘colorful’.
Blue strips of paint are not too bad, but especially the red strips are very harmful to the tires of the F1 cars. During the practice sessions this remains without much consequences, but especially during the race a spin or slide can have serious consequences.
In the end it was Valtteri Bottas who set the fastest time, followed by Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
01 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1: 33.448 24
02 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:33.783 21
03 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:33.880 23
04 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1: 34.193 25
05 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:34.329 25
06 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1: 34.644 24
07 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1:34.693 21
08 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:34.699 20
09 Lando Norris McLaren 1: 34.707 21
10 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1: 34.847 22
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1: 34.950 24
12 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1: 35.116 23
13 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo 1: 35.135 20
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:35.275 23
15 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1:35.289 16
16 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1: 35.342 24
17 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:35.612 22
18 Nikita Mazepin Haas 1:36.651 24
19 Mick Schumacher Haas 1:37.329 14
20 Roy Nissany Williams 1:37.881 16
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