After a fortnight’s break, Formula 1 is back this weekend, to Circuit Paul Ricard, a long and flowing circuit that made its comeback to the F1 calendar in 2018. The track is often criticized for its lack of overtaking opportunities but has produced some incredible racing of late.
Lewis Hamilton has won two of the last three French Grands Prix, with Max Verstappen taking the victory last season. But, before we begin talking about the favorites to win the race, let’s take a look at the odds table.
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French Grand Prix Betting Odds
Odds as of July 22 at BetOnline Sportsbook
Verstappen Expected To Bounce Back
Ferrari’s performance at Austria came with good and bad news. The good news was that the car seemed to be able to better manage its tires than the Red Bull, which is certainly a welcome sign for the Tifosi. However, Sainz’s retirement highlights the fact that, while the Ferrari has managed to manage its tires better, the power unit could still struggle with reliability issues at times.
While Ferrari has certainly made progress, it’s worth remembering that they are still very much playing catch-up with Red Bull. However, given that Paul Ricard is a track where overtaking is rather difficult, qualifying performance will be vital to achieving a good result. That’s why it’s worth keeping an eye on how Verstappen performs on Saturday, because of course the leading car will have the best chance to win on Sunday.
French Grand Prix Long Shots
Given George Russell’s qualifying prowess and Mercedes’ recent improvements, betting on Russell (+1600) to take the race win could be a good value bet. The Briton has not only brought a level of performance and consistency to the Mercedes team that was perhaps missing with Valtteri Bottas, but he also outperformed the seven-time world champion.
Both of these are no mean feats, and George will be looking to bounce back after two disappointing weekends.
French Grand Prix Race Technicals
Circuit Paul Ricard is 5.8 kilometers long and features one of the longest straights on the calendar: the 1.8-kilometer Mistral Straight. This section of the track and the chicane in which it culminates are where one can expect the most overtakes. Moreover, the track is built on a plateau, which has led to very few changes in altitude and undulations. This makes it relatively easier for drivers to put up a defense against overtakes.
Further, this weekend’s weather is expected to be hotter than usual following the recent heat wave in Europe, which could disadvantage the cars with Ferrari power units, which have been known to malfunction in high-heat conditions.
French Grand Prix Betting Strategy
Barring anything unforeseen, the race should come down to Red Bull and Ferrari. Max Verstappen is, of course, the favorite to win the race. However, given Ferrari’s recent improvements to their tire management and Mercedes’ improvements to its drivability, Red Bull’s advantage over the rest of the field could be a lot slimmer than before.
Either way, it remains to be seen if Ferrari can keep up what they accomplished at Austria, and if Mercedes can produce more power. Until there is real evidence of either, our pick to win the race is still Verstappen.
Formula 1 was at the Styrian Hills last time around for the Austrian Grand Prix, a circuit that is known for the duality presented by the long straights and flowing corners. Following qualifying, Max Verstappen seemed to be the best performer at the track and was set to start at the top of the pack at the sprint race on Saturday.
Max had a great start, and managed to get away quick and finish the sprint race with the same tires he started with, but as the race ended, Leclerc curiously commented that they would “get him” at the race.
What Leclerc meant, of course, was that the Ferrari would be better suited to the circuit. Leclerc’s premonition came true on Sunday, as he passed Verstappen on lap 12. Verstappen pitted a lap after, but Leclerc stayed out until lap 27.
Both drivers would pit again in a similar fashion, but Leclerc’s Ferrari simply managed the tires better, putting him in position to overtake the world champion in lap 53. Although Leclerc had issues with his throttle pedal toward the end of the race, the Monegasque was able to finish the race and take victory.
Elsewhere on the grid, Sainz, who was on a similar race strategy, was set to finish in second place. However, the Spaniard had a dramatic engine failure that led to a retirement and elevated Verstappen to second place. Sergio Perez, who had a decent start, was worse off after going two-wide with George Russell, causing him to drop to the back of the field, and eventually retiring from the race.
Lewis Hamilton, who stayed out of trouble through the whole race, managed to make the most of the incidents ahead of him to finish P3.
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Odds Shark Staff Thu, Jul 28, 12:36pm