WWelcome back to our coverage of the 2022 French Grand Prix from Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet. After a couple of crackers at Silverstone and Red Bull Ring in the last month, we are back on a track where the racing has generally not been that good.
The 2019 edition of this race will live long in the memory for how bad it was, which is ironic. The previous year was not exactly a classic either. In 2021, the race returned after a pause imposed by the coronavirus. That was really entertaining, although he owed his excitement to the duel between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
What are the chances of a decent race this year? I wouldn’t count on it, but scorching temperatures and clear skies could increase the chances of high degradation and perhaps an interesting race. We can only wait. In any case, it looks like this track and maybe even the French Grand Prix will disappear from the Formula One calendar altogether. Will it be a huge loss? Probably not.
Anyway, as well as the racing being decent in the last month, the championship fight has come alive a bit, with Charles Leclerc cutting into Verstappen’s lead. Heading into the race, the Dutchman’s deficit is now 38. It’s still a healthy lead and such a big lead that Leclerc really needs to head into the summer break with more rotten. The Ferrari showed decent race pace (surprisingly perhaps) in Austria and now we can only hope for that. However, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the Red Bull is the fastest overall.
And Mercedes? Can they put on a performance where they compete for the win again? This race has been marked as one where they could get the best of their package for a while, but to do that and beat two teams that have been faster throughout the season is a big step.