Raikkonen has more French Grand Prix experience than any other current driver, Hamilton has a 100% win rate at Circuit Paul Ricard and four drivers are yet to complete a racing lap of the track in F1. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the French Grand Prix!
🇬🇧 LEWIS HAMILTON
Since F1 returned to France in 2018, the 33rd lap of the 2018 race is the only one which Lewis Hamilton did not lead. Hamilton has been victorious in both races at Circuit Paul Ricard since its return to the calendar, and has qualified on pole position both times. When the French Grand Prix was held at Magny Cours, Hamilton qualified on the front row and finished third in 2007, while he qualified third in 2008 but finished only tenth.
🇫🇮 VALTTERI BOTTAS
Valtteri Bottas recorded his first French Grand Prix podium finish in 2019, with a second place finish. He qualified on the front row for a second successive season. Bottas set the fastest lap of the 2018 French Grand Prix, but finished only seventh after being spun by Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari on the first lap. He’s yet to beat his team-mate in qualifying at the circuit.
🇳🇱 MAX VERSTAPPEN
Max Verstappen finished as runner-up when the French Grand Prix returned in 2018, and just missed out on the podium in the last race at the track, finishing fourth. Verstappen has qualified in fourth place on both occasions, out-qualifying his team-mate each time. The Dutchman is yet to finish the French Grand Prix in a position worse than where he started.
🇲🇽 SERGIO PEREZ
Sergio Perez is yet to score a point at the French Grand Prix. He failed to finish the race in 2018 and finished twelfth in 2019. He’s also yet to reach the final part of qualifying at Circuit Paul Ricard having been eliminated in Q2 on both occasions. He has a best qualifying position of thirteenth at the circuit and out-qualified his team-mate for the first time here in 2019.
🇦🇺 DANIEL RICCIARDO
Daniel Ricciardo has a 100% finish rate at the French Grand Prix, but failed to score for the first time in 2019. Ricciardo finished fourth with Red Bull in 2018 and just missed out on points in the last race at the circuit, finishing in eleventh. The Australian has reached Q3 on both appearances, recording a best grid position of fifth in 2018. He out-qualified team-mate Max Verstappen in 2018, but was beaten by Nico Hulkenberg in 2019.
🇬🇧 LANDO NORRIS
Lando Norris impressed in qualifying on his first appearance at the French Grand Prix, recording a season-best qualifying position of fifth. After car issues, he could finish only ninth in the race. In F2 in 2018, Norris failed to score in the Feature Race, finishing in sixteenth. He finished fifth in the Sprint Race.
🇩🇪 SEBASTIAN VETTEL
Sebastian Vettel has finished fifth on both of his appearances at Circuit Paul Ricard. He has reached Q3 on both occasions too, qualifying in third in 2018 but reaching only seventh on the grid in 2019. He recorded the fastest lap of the 2019 race, thus picking up the bonus point. Vettel also contested in the French Grand Prix at Magny Cours in 2008 with Toro Rosso, where he qualified thirteenth and finished twelfth.
🇨🇦 LANCE STROLL
Like his team-mate, Lance Stroll is yet to score a point in France. Like Perez, he also failed to finish in 2018, before finishing one position behind the Mexican in 2019. Stroll is yet to out-qualify a team-mate at the French Grand Prix, with a best qualifying result of eighteenth in 2019 (that later became seventeenth on the final grid). He qualified last in 2018 and is yet to progress past Q1.
🇪🇸 FERNANDO ALONSO
Fernando Alonso failed to finish on his only appearance at Circuit Paul Ricard, retiring with suspension damage three laps from the end. Alonso qualified in sixteenth for the event, out-qualifying his team-mate.
🇫🇷 ESTEBAN OCON
On his first appearance at his home event in 2018, Esteban Ocon out-qualified his team-mate and lined up eleventh on the grid. He was eliminated from the race in a first lap collision.
🇲🇨 CHARLES LECLERC
Charles Leclerc has scored points on both French Grand Prix appearances so far. He finished tenth in 2018 with Sauber, before finishing on the final step of the podium with Ferrari in 2019. He has also reached the final part of qualifying twice, with eighth on the grid in 2018 and third in 2019. Leclerc is yet to be out-qualified by a team-mate at this circuit, but is also yet to gain a position from where he started.
🇪🇸 CARLOS SAINZ
Carlos Sainz has scored on both appearances at the French Grand Prix, with a best finish of sixth with McLaren in 2019. He finished eighth in the previous year with Renault. The Spaniard has also qualified in the top seven on both appearances, with a best of sixth in the most recent race here. 2019 marked the first time he has been out-qualified by a team-mate at the track. Sainz is yet to gain a position from where he started at Circuit Paul Ricard.
🇫🇷 PIERRE GASLY
Pierre Gasly scored a point at his home Grand Prix for the first time in 2019. He finished tenth for Red Bull. Gasly was eliminated on the first lap in 2018, having qualified in fourteenth. He reached Q3 for the first time in 2019, lining up ninth on the grid. 2019 was the first time he has been out-qualified by a team-mate at the track.
🇯🇵 YUKI TSUNODA
This will be Yuki Tsunoda’s first French Grand Prix appearance. He has previously raced at Circuit Paul Ricard in F3 in 2019, finishing seventh and ninth in the two races over the weekend.
🇫🇮 KIMI RAIKKONEN
Kimi Raikkonen is the only driver on the current grid to have gained positions in both the 2018 and 2019 French Grands Prix. He has scored points in both of his Formula 1 races at Circuit Paul Ricard too. He finished on the podium in 2018 with Ferrari, before finishing seventh with Alfa Romeo in 2019. Raikkonen has a best qualifying position at the circuit of sixth from 2018. He’s yet to out-qualify a team-mate at the circuit. The Finn has competed in more French Grands Prix than any other driver, having been present for eight events at Magny Cours between 2001 and 2008. During that time, Raikkonen won once in 2007 and took pole position in 2008. He finished on the podium at the track five times.
🇮🇹 ANTONIO GIOVINAZZI
On his first French Grand Prix appearance, Antonio Giovinazzi finished sixteenth. He out-qualified team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, reaching Q3 for only the second time in his career. He lined up tenth on the grid and lost six positions through the race.
🇩🇪 MICK SCHUMACHER
Mick Schumacher’s last appearance at Circuit Paul Ricard was in Formula 2 in 2019. He had a weekend to forget, retiring from both races.
🇷🇺 NIKITA MAZEPIN
Nikita Mazepin has previously raced at Circuit Paul Ricard in F3, GP3 and F2. His best result was second place in the first GP3 race at the track in 2018.
🇬🇧 GEORGE RUSSELL
George Russell competed at Circuit Paul Ricard in Formula 3 in 2016. From the three races, he finished a best of third place in the first race. He returned to the track for F2 in 2018, where he won the Feature Race but could only finish seventeenth in the Sprint Race. In F1, Russell out-qualified his team-mate at the 2019 French Grand Prix, but started from the back of the grid. He went on to pick up just one position in the race; a result of Romain Grosjean’s retirement.
🇨🇦 NICHOLAS LATIFI
Nicholas Latifi has previously raced at Circuit Paul Ricard in Formula 3.5 and Formula 2. His best result came in the 2019 F2 Feature Race, where he finished fifth. The Canadian scored in all four of his F2 appearances at the circuit.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.