Venue: Circuit Paul Ricard
Formula One racing returns to France for the first time since 2008 and Ferrari will be hoping to pick up where they left off, having won the last three races in this country.
Those contests were at Magny-Cours, but the Italian outfit appears in good shape for the switch to Circuit Paul Ricard.
Sebastian Vettel stormed to the top of the drivers’ championship with a dominant victory in Canada and is backed to follow up at 81/50 in our French Grand Prix betting tips.
The German arrived in Montreal without a win in his last four races, but did not put a foot wrong when beating Valtteri Bottas by more than seven seconds.
That was Ferrari’s first win at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for 14 years, with an upgraded power unit proving decisive.
“The car’s been beautiful,” beamed Vettel. “Points are always important, but this win means a lot.
“The season is still so long and there are many races ahead, but the main thing is that our car is strong and stays like that, so that we can fight.”
Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene was equally bullish, commenting: “This win is down to a very good car and a great drive from Seb.
“The team, both at the track and back in Maranello, has worked hard and methodically, preparing the car, which right from Saturday’s qualifying proved to be very quick.”
How the Canadian Grand Prix finished:
1 Vettel (Ferrari), 2 Bottas (Mercedes), 3 Verstappen (Red Bull), 4 Ricciardo (Red Bull), 5 Hamilton (Mercedes), 6 Raikkonen (Ferrari), 7 Hulkenberg (Renault), 8 Sainz (Renault), 9 Ocon (Force India), 10 Leclerc (Sauber), 11 Gasly (Toro Rosso), 12 Grosjean (Haas), 13 Magnussen (Haas), 14 Perez (Force India), 15 Ericsson (Sauber), 16 Vandoorne (McLaren), 17 Sirotkin (Williams), DNF Alonso (McLaren), Hartley (Toro Rosso), Stroll (Williams)
Lewis Hamilton is now a point behind Vettel after finishing fifth in Canada, following a third-place effort in Monaco.
Unlike all their rivals, Mercedes failed to introduce a planned engine upgrade in Montreal and team chief Toto Wolff has issued a rallying cry after a series of errors this season.
“This is a major wake-up call for every single member of the team,” he said. “I’m the opposite of confident moving forward.
“Everybody needs to assess how to improve our performance. This year’s championship is going to be decided by the one who makes the least mistakes. This is the new reality.
“It is a three-way team fight and six cars can win races. We cannot take anything for granted and think it is going to be a walk in the park.”
Past history suggests Mercedes will get it right in the end, but for now we’d rather take a watching brief on how they respond to the latest setback.
Playing catch-up can be tough and all the pressure is on the Brackley-based outfit to step up its performance.
Past French Grand Prix results:
2008 Massa (Ferrari)
2007 Raikkonen (Ferrari)
2006 Schumacher (Ferrari)
2005 Alonso (Renault)
2004 Schumacher (Ferrari)
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