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2019 French Grand Prix.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Santa Swami, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Santa Swami

    Santa Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Following a return to Paul Ricard last year for the first time since 1990, F1 is back there this weekend, returning to Europe for the most of the middle part of the championship.

    Swami
     
  2. Santa Swami

    Santa Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Ferrari penalty challenge rejected as Valtteri Bottas top in French GP practice
    [​IMG]
    By Andrew Benson

    .
    [​IMG]
    Final practice is live via the BBC Sport website from 11:00 BST
    Ferrari's attempt to overturn the penalty that cost Sebastian Vettel victory in the Canadian Grand Prix has been rejected by Formula 1 officials.

    The team met with race stewards at the French Grand Prix on Friday to argue for a right to review the incident.

    But stewards found that Ferrari had presented "no significant and relevant new elements which were unavailable to the parties at the time".


    The decision means Ferrari are still waiting for a victory in 2019.

    Vettel said that he was: "Disappointed. Very disappointed. For myself, for the team, for the sport and the fans. Just a disappointment.

    "It was not just the decision - so we felt we had a chance but the FIA [the world governing body] didn't share that opinion."

    Ferrari presented a number of what Laurent Mekies, their deputy technical director, said were "quite overwhelming" new evidence.

    This included analysis of telemetry from Vettel's car, on-board camera views from both cars; a camera facing towards the German's face during the race; GPS analysis of the cars' trajectories; and a witness statement from the driver himself.

    One piece of evidence submitted by Ferrari was television analysis by former F1 driver Karun Chandhok, an unusual step for a team to take in such a situation.

    But stewards ruled that all of those were available either before the end of the race, or were not new and significant.

    Vettel had been found guilty of rejoining the track in an unsafe manner and forcing Hamilton to take avoiding action.

    [​IMG]
    In a BBC Sport poll 82% of users said Vettel's penalty should not be overturned
    The German was given a five-second penalty, which promoted Hamilton to victory after a race-long battle between the two cars.

    The verdict overshadowed Friday at the French Grand Prix, which Mercedes dominated, Hamilton leading team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the first session and the positions reversed in the second.

    In the afternoon session, Hamilton had a spin on what should have been his fastest lap and ended the session 0.424 seconds behind his team-mate.

    But the two were well out of reach of the rest, led by Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who was 0.649secs off the pace and 0.079secs ahead of team-mate Vettel.

    McLaren's Lando Norris was an impressive fifth fastest, ahead of the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, who had a difficult session.

    The Dutchman was caught up in an incident with Hamilton - Verstappen was on a flying lap when the Mercedes went off the track at Turn Three and was distracted when it rejoined close to him at Turn Five.

    The stewards investigated the incident after the session, with Hamilton accused of rejoining the track in an unsafe manner.

    But they decided to take no further action on the basis that both drivers agreed the situation was 'not particularly dangerous', and that the angle of his car made it difficult for the Briton to see in his mirrors.

    The stewards added that Hamilton had driven carefully, and he had looked in his mirrors at least twice before attempting to rejoin the track.

    Hamilton's spin meant he did not do a lap on the faster soft tyres, and his best time was set on the more durable mediums.

    Behind Verstappen, the second McLaren of Carlos Sainz was seventh, ahead of the second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly, with the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen ninth and Haas drive Kevin Magnussen completing the top 10.

    Both Red Bulls had spins, as did Renault's Nico Hulkenberg, on a day when gusting wind on an exposed race track in the Provencal hills caused problems for several drivers.

    The Dane's team-mate Romain Grosjean had a torrid session, a lock-up ruining his first set of tyres and a series of errors, and complaints on the radio followed, leaving him 17th fastest.

    Swami
     
  3. Santa Swami

    Santa Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Lewis Hamilton on French Grand Prix pole
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    [​IMG]
    Sunday's race is live on 5 live and the BBC Sport website at 14:10 BST
    Lewis Hamilton has beaten Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to pole position at the French Grand Prix.

    The world champion was 0.286 seconds quicker than the Finn, whose title challenge is in danger of fizzling out before half way through the season.

    Bottas heads into the race 29 points behind Hamilton and needs to beat him to get his challenge back on track.


    Behind them, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was third while team-mate Sebastian Vettel could manage only seventh.

    [​IMG]
    Hamilton has a record 86 career poles - even Michael Schumacher only has 68
    Bottas had the edge - until it mattered
    Mercedes were untouchable at the front, as they have looked all weekend on this demanding track in the Provencal hills.

    Bottas looked to have an edge on Hamilton through practice, but when it mattered the Briton made it count, as he so often does.

    It was Hamilton's third pole of the season, matching Bottas' tally.

    In the final qualifying session, Hamilton was 0.157secs quicker than Bottas on the first runs.

    Bottas had a scrappy lap on his second attempt and failed to improve, while Hamilton took a few extra fractions off his time, despite a small error in the penultimate corner.

    More misery for Vettel
    [​IMG]
    Vettel failed to put together a decent time during Q3, but it was the strained team radio conversations that could give a better picture of the German's current mindset
    Leclerc had his best qualifying since the Bahrain Grand Prix back in March and beat Vettel for only the second time this season, finally ending a run of bad luck and errors.

    He looked quicker than Vettel all Saturday and delivered a strong performance in qualifying to be best of the rest behind Mercedes, albeit 0.646secs adrift.

    Vettel, though, had a messy qualifying. He had a messy first lap, with a big snap at the rear at the first corner and then running wide at Turn Six on to the Mistral straight.

    That meant he had it all to do on his second run, but he was unable to deliver and ended up 0.834secs behind Leclerc.

    Anyone know why McLaren are so fast?
    But the stars of qualifying were arguably the McLarens, with Norris and Sainz closely matched and only just failing to pip Verstappen for fourth.

    Red Bull were struggling - Verstappen was over a second off the pace - but even so McLaren were not expected to be so close.

    "I'm happy with P5," said Norris, who started his F1 career this season. "It's my best qualifying."

    But he did express some surprise about their pace. "We don't have any big upgrades. For whatever reason, it seems to be working very well. Hopefully we can identify (why) and bring it to the next races."

    Sainz added: "It is good news. We are bringing upgrades every race and the car is responding, it feels alive. Let's try to keep it for tomorrow."

    [​IMG]
    The last time McLaren qualified higher than fifth was in Austria in 2016, when Jenson Button was third. On pole that day? Hamilton, of course. McLaren's last dry whether fifth on the grid was Brazil in 2014. Source: Forix
    Renault would like to know
    McLaren's pace was also embarrassing for the factory Renault team, their engine supplier.

    Renault came to their home race with a big chassis upgrade and were expecting to move forward. They achieved their aim of being closer to Red Bull, but did not expect McLaren to be in between them.

    Daniel Ricciardo was eighth, 0.5secs slower than Norris, with Red Bull's Pierre Gasly ninth and the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi completing the top 10.

    The other British driver George Russell did a stellar job for Williams. He missed all of final practice because of an engine problem - and had already had to stand down for first practice to make way for reserve driver Nicholas Latifi - but qualified 19th, 0.416secs quicker than team-mate Robert Kubica.

    However, Russell will start behind the Pole because of a grid penalty for using too many engine parts this season, after Williams had to change his control electronics and energy store to resolve the problems in final practice.

    Swami
     
  4. Santa Swami

    Santa Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Lewis Hamilton cruises to French GP victory
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    [​IMG]
    Lewis Hamilton took a stranglehold on the world title with a dominant victory in the French Grand Prix.

    Hamilton was in a league of his own, even over his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, as the 34-year-old Briton took his sixth win in eight races.

    The five-time champion leads Bottas in this year's title race by 36 points - a win and a fifth place - after just eight races.


    Bottas finished a distant second, holding off an attack from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc on the final lap.

    Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari took fourth and fifth and the only minor irritation for Hamilton was that Vettel managed to steal the point for fastest lap, by virtue of a late pit stop for fresh soft tyres.

    A Sunday afternoon drive for Hamilton
    [​IMG]
    That's now 79 career wins for Hamilton - 12 to go to match Michael Schumacher's all-time record. Source: Forix
    Hamilton was in control from the start, after converting pole position into a lead at the first corner.

    He set a steady pace in the opening laps as he looked after his tyres with a full fuel load, but as the pit stops approached Hamilton piled on the pressure.

    He extended his lead over Bottas by nearly five seconds in eight laps before the Finn was called in first for his pit stop on lap 23 to ensure he covered Leclerc, who had stopped two laps before.

    Hamilton followed Bottas in, and re-emerged with an even bigger lead of 11 seconds, and the race was effectively over.

    It was a generally soporific race, with little in the way of competitive tension among the front-running cars, and the championship looks to be heading in the same direction.

    Hamilton and Bottas were evenly matched in the first few races of the season, but the Briton has found another gear in the last three events and his team-mate currently looks a bit breathless as he tries to keep up.

    [​IMG]
    Can you race next time? A mundane grand prix had its moments - most of them before the lights went out
    Anything going on behind the Mercedes?
    Leclerc had a lonely race behind the Mercedes in third, unable to keep pace with Hamilton and Bottas for much of the afternoon, but comfortably able to fend off Verstappen behind.

    But the Ferrari closed in on Bottas in the final laps as the Finn battled tyre blisters, which also affected Hamilton. But Bottas did just enough to hold off the Ferrari on the final lap.

    Ferrari had hoped that they might be able to get Vettel ahead of Verstappen by running him long, once the German had moved up to fifth place past the McLarens from his seventh place start.

    But a plan to run long and attack Verstappen on fresher tyres at the end of the race was scuppered when Vettel locked a front tyre into Turn One just three or four laps after agreeing the strategy with his engineers.

    He immediately got on the radio to say they needed to pit because the tyre was too badly damaged to continue with the plan.

    That meant Vettel had tyres that were only five laps fresher than Verstappen, who was easily able to hold the Ferrari off - in fact Vettel slowly dropped back, rather than gaining on the Red Bull.

    [​IMG]
    Drivers and team bosses all wore Jackie Stewart's famous tartan flat cap to honour the three-time world champion's 80th birthday
    Ah! some action (on the last lap)
    Behind the big five, McLaren drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris converted their excellent third-row grid positions into sixth and seventh places at the head of the midfield, for much of the race, the Spaniard ahead of Norris, who had qualified in front, as a result of passing him at the start.

    Sainz took a comfortable sixth but Norris began to struggle in the closing stages as his car lost hydraulic pressure, a problem that affected his gearshifts and steering and prevented him using the DRS overtaking aid.

    That allowed Renault's Daniel Ricciardo to close in, before Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen and the second Renault of Nico Hulkenberg also joined the fight.

    Norris was given some breathing space when Ricciardo made a mistake and lost time with four laps to go.

    But the Australian closed in again and with no DRS Norris was helpless as the Australian, Raikkonen and Hulkenberg pushed him down to 10th on the final lap.

    Driver of the day
    [​IMG]
    Not an easy choice, this, after such a tedious afternoon, and Norris won the fans' vote. It's hard to look past Hamilton after such an imperious drive, but Leclerc gets it for coming so close to beating a Mercedes at the death in a much slower car
    What happens next?
    F1 moves on to the Red Bull Ring in Austria next weekend, where the long straights and general circuit layout might give Ferrari a chance to challenge Mercedes more closely... Might.

    Swami
     

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