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2018 French Grand Prix.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    F1 returns to Paul Ricard for the first time since 1990, and pretty much returned to its full length, it had been reduced since 1986 following the fatal accident of Elio de Angelis.

    Swami
     
  2. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Lewis Hamilton tops French GP practice as Sergio Perez loses wheel






    [​IMG]
    The French GP preview is live on 5 live at 21:30 BST on Friday
    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set a blistering pace in second practice at the French Grand Prix.

    The world champion was a massive 0.704 seconds quicker than his closest rival, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

    Hamilton's title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari was only fifth fastest, 1.150secs adrift of Hamilton.


    The session included a 10-minute red flag period, caused when Sergio Perez's Force India lost a wheel, which potentially distorted the picture.

    The team will investigate how the wheel became detached at around 170mph on the Mistral straight, violently pitching the car into and 180-degree spin.

    The delay meant drivers made their qualifying simulation runs at different times, when the track conditions may have been different.

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    Fire in the hole: Marcus Ericsson's session was ended after a heavy crash in first practice
    Who has the fastest race pace?
    Vettel, for example, set his time on the fastest ultra-soft tyres before the session was stopped, and Hamilton after.

    But the race runs also suggested Mercedes had an advantage - Hamilton was about 0.5secs a lap on average faster than Raikkonen on their long runs on the ultra-soft tyres, with Ricciardo behind the Finn.

    Neither Vettel nor Verstappen did comparable runs on the same tyre.

    The French Grand Prix returns to the calendar for the first time in 10 years, and this is the first race at Paul Ricard in Provence since 1990, when Alain Prost won for Ferrari.

    Hamilton heads into the weekend one point behind Vettel in the championship and with an upgraded Mercedes engine which contains both performance and reliability improvements.

    The debut of the engine was originally scheduled for the last race in Canada only for Mercedes to postpone it at the last minute when reliability concerns emerged on the test bed.

    Since then, Mercedes say they have been able to improve the specification again and it will run in the factory cars and customers Force India and Williams for the rest of the weekend - and presumably the next six races after that.

    Vettel said: "Overall, it is not the most exciting track. It is quite tricky here and there. There are some places technically that are quite demanding, the timing needs to be right.

    "On one lap it looks like we are a little bit behind. It is understanding what the car needs and what I need to do with the car. I did not put good laps in on one lap so I am not too stressed. We should be fine tomorrow."


    Media playback is not supported on this device

    How does it feel to drive an F1 car at Paul Ricard?
    Alonso frustrated
    Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas had a troubled session. He was just over 0.2secs behind on the first runs - on slower tyres - but then his car suffered a water leak and he had to miss the balance of the session, losing out on both his qualifying run and his race run.

    Behind the big three teams, Haas driver Frenchman Romain Grosjean was sixth quickest, sneaking ahead of Bottas, with McLaren's Fernando Alonso eighth.

    The Spaniard, at the French Grand Prix a week after winning at Le Mans with Toyota, may have been flattered in that position by circumstance - he did his quick run on ultra-softs right at the end of the session, when the most rubber would be down to increase grip.

    Alonso also had a scrappy session - he ended it with a spin at Turn Three when pushing for a faster time - shortly after a frustrated message to his team over the radio - and had earlier run wide twice at Turn Two.

    His team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was down in 13th.

    The second Haas of Kevin Magnussen was ninth fastest, ahead of Frenchman Pierre Gasly in the Toro Rosso.

    Swami
     
  3. Swami

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    Lewis Hamilton on pole position for French Grand Prix
    [​IMG]
    By Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

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    Sunday's French Grand Prix is at 15:10 BST - Live text and audio commentary on the BBC Sport website
    Lewis Hamilton won a battle with Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas for pole position at the first French Grand Prix for 10 years.

    Hamilton beat Bottas by 0.118 seconds in a top 10 shoot-out interrupted by a red flag following a crash by Haas driver Romain Grosjean.

    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third, ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen.


    And there was a starring performance from rookie Charles Leclerc, who put the Sauber in eighth place on the grid.

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    Young Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc surprised many by putting his Sauber into the final top 10 shoot out
    Mercedes back on top thanks to upgrade
    Mercedes dominated the final session and Hamilton was ahead of Bottas by just 0.095secs after their first runs.

    Grosjean then crashed at the fast-entry Beausset double right-hander, bringing the session to a halt while the Haas was removed.

    On the final laps, Bottas beat Hamilton's earlier time, but the world champion snuck back ahead shortly afterwards.

    It gives Hamilton a good opportunity to reclaim the championship lead from title rival Vettel, who is one point ahead following his win in Canada last time out.

    Hamilton was further ahead in the first two sessions but found his advantage cut on the final runs.

    Mercedes' first one-two on the grid since the Spanish Grand Prix came on a weekend when the team introduced an upgraded engine. It had been scheduled for the last race in Canada, where the other three manufacturers all had upgrades, but a reliability concern led to a delay.

    Mercedes said the two-week delay had allowed them to introduce further reliability and performance.

    It may not have made the difference between pole and not, but it was certainly a relief after a rare - if brief - moment of fallibility from the company that has dominated the turbo hybrid era of F1.

    The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fourth and fifth, ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.


    considering promoting him to become Vettel's team-mate as early as next year and this can only have made those chances greater.

    Leclerc was just behind Carlos Sainz, impressive in the Renault in seventh place and five places ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

    Who will win in France?
    Choose your top three drivers from the list below

    McLaren in the mire
    While a new face is beginning to establish himself as a potential new star, an old superstar is having a painful time.

    Fernando Alonso qualified on 16th in the increasingly recalcitrant McLaren, with team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne 18th.

    It was the beleaguered team's worst qualifying performance of an increasingly disappointing year that started with pretensions of battling with Red Bull, who have the same Renault engine.

    Instead, McLaren appear to be going backwards, despite their attempts to improve the car, and the performance will only increase the pressure on a management who are facing increasing criticism.

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    British cyclist Adam Yates rode the circuit before qualifying - he will contest this year's Tour de France
    What they said
    Hamilton: "Q3 has not been spectacular. Q1 and Q2 were good, but Q3 was so-so."

    Vettel: "It's a difficult one to get the right balance, I tried to push everything in the last attempt, but looking back. I pushed too hard. You try and get a little bit here and there out the car and then it slides, you lose the line, and you end up losing time rather than gaining.

    "At the end we maybe should have been a bit closer but P3 is a fair result for us. It is fair to say we were a couple of tenths slower. But tomorrow I think we have a good chance."

    Alonso: "Happy with the lap. This is the way it is. Already in Canada we were P15, so we were one position on the borderline, so it is not a surprise but it is very disappointing."

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  4. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Lewis Hamilton wins French Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel penalty
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    By Andrew Benson

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    Lewis Hamilton reclaimed the world championship lead with a dominant victory in the French Grand Prix.

    The Mercedes driver led from start to finish other than one lap around his pit stop to move 14 points ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who finished fifth.

    Vettel made life difficult for himself with a collision at the first corner with Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas.


    The German fought back through the field impressively but earned a five-second penalty for causing the crash, which put both to the back of the field.

    It was a costly error for Vettel, who was one point ahead of Hamilton before the race, and not the first one he has made this year that has cost him ground in the championship.

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    "It's a beautiful Sunday": England won emphatically at the World Cup on Sunday, just before Hamilton dominated
    Hamilton supreme
    Hamilton will welcome the gift from Vettel at the start of a crucial run of three races in three weeks, one of them the British Grand Prix in two weeks' time, and five in six before the four-week summer break in August.

    The Briton made it two easy wins for his country in one day, after England's progression to the second round of the World Cup with their cruise to a 6-1 victory over Panama.

    Hamilton made a good enough start to be just clear of the crash between Vettel and Bottas at the start, and after a five-lap intervention by the safety car, leapt away at the re-start and was never seen again.

    Hamilton was able to build a comfortable gap to Red Bull's Max Verstappen behind him in second place for the entire race and then cruise and conserve to the finish.

    "Great job, guys," Hamilton said, "and great for England, too. It's a beautiful Sunday."

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    There were several collisions on the first lap, but none more significant that Vettel sliding into the back of Bottas
    Action behind the leader
    It was behind Hamilton that a race more interesting than many feared began to unfold.

    Vettel, at the back after a pit stop to repair the front wing damaged in the crash with Bottas made light work of the backmarkers, starting with a light tap as he passed Fernando Alonso's McLaren at Turn Three at the re-start, which nudged the Spaniard into a spin.

    Vettel was 11th by lap 10, eighth by lap 15, and fifth by lap 20, at the back of the lead group.

    But there his progress stopped and he was able to make a late pit stop for fresh tyres, serving his penalty at the same time, without losing his position.

    For a time it looked as if Ferrari might swap him with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, but instead the Finn was sent after Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo - who was struggling after a piece came off his front wing - passing him with 11 laps to go to take the final podium position from the Australian.

    Haas driver Kevin Magnussen took sixth, ahead of Bottas, who was not able to make as much progress as Vettel as a result of damage to his floor which affected his downforce and handling balance.

    Renault's Carlos Sainz was on course to finish sixth after a strong race, but dropped back to eighth with engine problems in the closing stages, just ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg and Charles Leclerc, after a strong race in the Sauber following his stunning eighth place in qualifying.


    Media playback is not supported on this device

    How does it feel to drive an F1 car at Paul Ricard?
    Dire race for McLaren
    After their worst qualifying performance for more than a year, McLaren had a woeful race, Stoffel Vandoorne finishing 12th. Team-mate Fernando Alonso, delayed by the crash at the first corner, spent much of the race at the back after a first-lap pit stop and an attempt to go through the race non-stop.

    Alonso was running 12th in the closing stages, ahead of Vandoorne, when he chose to pit for fresh tyres and try for the fastest lap.

    But the McLaren's suspension failed on the penultimate lap and he had to retire.

    On a weekend when they revealed they were struggling to fix the problems with the car because they were not showing up in the wind tunnel, it looks like a long road ahead for the team to get back to where they believe they belong.

    Driver of the day
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    Difficult choice, this. Vettel drove beautifully to recover ground after the first-lap incident but loses points for causing it. Let's give it to Charles Leclerc, after a starring weekend, and a fourth points finish for Sauber in five races.
    What they said
    Race winner Lewis Hamilton: "I feel very grateful, grateful for a solid weekend. My guys, I have been with them for six years they are pushing the boundaries and never giving up so I want to thank them and everyone at the factory."

    Max Verstappen in second: "It was good. I tried to follow Lewis. He was controlling the pace. I didn't have to work very hard for it but it's good to be in the podium."

    Kimi Raikkonen on finishing third: "I got a bit blocked with all the mayhem that happened but a decent recovery. At the end we had a lot of speed and managed to get on the podium."

    What happens next?
    F1 moves to Austria next weekend, a power track where Ferrari and Mercedes will likely again be closely match, and picking a winner is impossible.

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    Bad day at the office: Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon of Force India both retired from the race
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    Meanwhile, team-mate Marcus Ericsson crashed during Friday practice and the resulting fire melted the side of his car
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    Alain Prost won the last race held at Paul Ricard in 1990
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    British cyclist Adam Yates rode the circuit before qualifying - he will contest this year's Tour de France

    Swami
     

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