After an interesting ending of the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks ago, the French GP promises a huge fight. It is hard to say whether Sebastian Vettel deserved to be penalized or not, but one fact does stand – Lewis Hamilton didn’t deserve to win that race.
Vettel’s reaction after the race only added fuel to the long-lasting rival between these two guys. You all saw what happened back then when he switched numbers in front of the vehicles, putting No.1 ahead of his Ferrari and No.2 in front of Mercedes.
FIA has scheduled a hearing for Ferrari this Friday after which comes the final decision about the necessity of Vettel’s penalty in Canada. Whatever comes out of it, tensions will only be higher.
It is maybe why Hamilton decided to pull out of his media obligations. The 34-year old will attend a memorial event dedicated to the famous fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. The two had a close relationship until Lagerfeld died early this year.
Lewis Hamilton has been allowed to skip media duties for the French Grand Prix https://t.co/0ruRMu3P3O
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) June 20, 2019
For some, this is just a skilled maneuver of the five-time champion, who doesn’t want to be exposed to all the media questions which might disrupt his focus and tactics. It is the second time this year that Hamilton chose to avoid meeting with the media representatives. He did the same following Niki Lauda’s death.
But that doesn’t affect the standings, where Brit has 162 points and the German 62 fewer. The difference is enormous, which forces Vettel to be even more aggressive now because his season might go down the drain.
Mercedes is confidently dominating the season so far. Hamilton has 5 and Bottas two wins, making this team the sole winner in this campaign. For the moment, the German manufacturer is outperforming Ferrari in almost every aspect using all of their weaknesses.
But according to Ferrari’s engineers, the race at Paul Ricard circuit will be a breakthrough. They are planning to implement several additions to the car, which will improve its performances. Vettel and Leclerc are going to have a new front wing on their respective vehicles which will erase some of the problems they have during the race.
Some of the other technical solutions were already used in Canada, and we must say that the gap between Mercedes and Ferrari wasn’t that big at all. In fact, for the first time, we saw these two teams equally competitive.
— Autosport (@autosport) June 20, 2019
Other teams are also coming to France with improvements. Honda is planning to upgrade its engines, and that goes for both Red Bulls and one Toro Rosso. It comes after only four races since the latest progress, and this could benefit Max Verstappen a lot. Right now, the talented Dutchman is fourth in the standings with 88 points but is showing an enormous improvement when compared to the last season. With a little bit better vehicle, he could be competing for victories in the near future.
Renault is also announcing huge ambitions. According to their engineers, the fans are about to see the full potential of this vehicle. This team discovered a flaw in their design, which often caused the engine to underachieve or simply break down, and all that is now removed. Because of that, the French manufacturer is certain that the new version is going to be much more reliable. Therefore, they expect excellent results at home soil.
One very important aspect of the race will be the weather. This preview will cover that also. According to all the relevant sources, it is presumed to be one of the hottest French GP’s in the latest 20 years.
Throughout all three days, the track conditions should be good, without rain, with a little wind on Saturday. It is expected for the teams to pick the super soft type of tyres.
Now, about the predictions, we will go safe here. Having in mind that Ferrari improved its performances, it is expected that Vettel reaches one of the first three places on the podium. The odds on that are solid (0.45), and we suggest taking advantage of them. Honda’s announcement of upgrading engines should help Max Verstappen, and our second pick is him finishing among top 6. Odds are 0.30.