Four drivers have scored in every French Grand Prix since 2018, while Verstappen and Hamilton are the only current drivers with wins at Circuit Paul Ricard. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the French Grand Prix!
🇳🇱 Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen took victory in last year’s French Grand Prix – his first win at Circuit Paul Ricard. He finished as runner-up when the French Grand Prix returned in 2018, and just missed out on the podium in 2019, finishing fourth. After qualifying fourth in both 2018 and 2019, Verstappen took pole position for the event in 2021. The Dutchman is yet to finish the French Grand Prix in a position worse than where he started and is yet to be out-qualified by a team-mate here.
🇲🇽 Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez scored at the French Grand Prix for the first time in 2021, finishing in third place with Red Bull. He failed to finish the race in 2018 and came home only 12th in 2019. 2021 was also the first time Perez reached Q3 at Circuit Paul Ricard, having been eliminated in Q2 in the previous two races here. He qualified fourth last year.
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton won the French Grand Prix in both 2018 and 2019 and finished as runner-up to Max Verstappen last year. Hamilton has qualified on the front row in all three French Grands Prix since 2018, taking pole in both 2018 and 2019. He’s yet to be out-qualified by his team-mate at Circuit Paul Ricard. Hamilton has finished where he started in all three races at the track since 2018. 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.
🇬🇧 George Russell
George Russell recorded his best French Grand Prix result to date in 2021 with 12th place. He finished 19th on his only other appearance in 2019. After qualifying on the back row in 2019, Russell reached Q2 last year, qualifying in 14th. Russel previously 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 17th in the Sprint Race.
🇲🇨 Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc failed to score at the French Grand Prix for the first time in 2021, finishing only 16th. He finished tenth in 2018 with Sauber, before finishing on the final step of the podium with Ferrari in 2019. He has reached the final part of qualifying on all three outings, with a best Saturday result of third in 2019. Leclerc is yet to gain a position from where he has started at the track.
🇪🇸 Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz finished just outside of the points at the 2021 French Grand Prix, but scored on his two previous appearances at Circuit Paul Ricard. His best finish here is sixth with McLaren in 2019. He finished eighth in the previous year with Renault. The Spaniard has also qualified in the top seven on all three appearances, with a best of fifth in 2021. Like his team-mate, Sainz is yet to gain a position from where he started at Circuit Paul Ricard.
🇦🇺 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 finished sixth with McLaren last year. The Australian has reached Q3 on all three 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 and Lando Norris in 2021.
🇬🇧 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. He bettered that result in 2021. Despite qualifying lower than in 2019, in eighth place, Norris finished the race in fifth place. In F2 in 2018, Norris failed to score in the Feature Race, finishing in 16th. He finished fifth in the Sprint Race.
🇪🇸 Fernando Alonso
After reaching Q3, Fernando Alonso scored his first points at Circuit Paul Ricard last year. He finished the race in eighth place. Alonso failed to finish on his only other appearance at the track in 2018, retiring with suspension damage three laps from the end. Alonso qualified in 16th for the event, out-qualifying his team-mate.
🇫🇷 Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon is yet to score a point at his home event, having retired on the opening lap in 2018 and finished 14th in 2021. He’s also yet to reach Q3 here. He has qualified 11th on both appearances to date.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly has scored points on two of his three French Grand Prix appearances. He recoded his best result at the circuit last year, finishing in seventh place. He was eliminated on the first lap in 2018 and finished tenth with Red Bull in 2019. Gasly also recorded his best qualifying result at the track last year, with sixth place. He also reached Q3 in 2019.
🇯🇵 Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda crashed in Q1 and started the 2021 French Grand Prix from the pit lane. He went on to finish in 13th place. Tsunoda previously raced at Circuit Paul Ricard in F3 in 2019, finishing seventh and ninth in the two races over the weekend.
🇩🇪 Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel has scored points on all three appearances so far at Circuit Paul Ricard. He finished fifth in both 2018 and 2019, before coming home ninth last season. 2021 was the first time Vettel has missed out on Q3 at the circuit. His best qualifying result here is third, recorded in 2018. 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 13th and finished 12th.
🇨🇦 Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll scored his first point at the French Grand Prix last season, finishing in tenth place. He retired in 2018 and finished 13th in 2019. Stroll has been eliminated in Q1 on all three outings at Circuit Paul Ricard, with a best qualifying result of only 18th in 2019.
🇹🇭 Alex Albon
On his only French Grand Prix appearance to date, Alex Albon finished in 15th place with Toro Rosso in 2019. Albon reached Q2, qualifying ahead of his team-mate in 11th place.
🇨🇦 Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi competed at the French Grand Prix for the first time in 2021. After qualifying 16th, Latifi finished the race in 18th place. Latifi 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.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas recorded his first French Grand Prix podium finish in 2019, with a second place finish. He has a 100% points-scoring rate at Circuit Paul Ricard and is yet to finish below seventh place here. Bottas qualified on the front row, behind his Mercedes team-mate, in both 2018 and 2019 and qualified in third place last year. 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.
🇨🇳 Zhou Guanyu
Zhou Guanyu last raced at Circuit Paul Ricard in 2019 in Formula 2. That weekend, he finished fourth in the Feature Race and third in the Sprint Race.
🇩🇪 Mick Schumacher
After reaching Q2 for the first time in his career and qualifying 15th, Mick Schumacher finished the 2021 French Grand Prix in 19th place. In F2 in 2019, Schumacher had a weekend to forget, retiring from both races.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen reached the chequered flag on his two previous French Grand Prix appearances. He finished sixth in 2018 and a lowly 17th in 2019. Magnussen reached Q3 in 2018, qualifying in ninth place, before exiting in Q2 with 15th place in 2019. Magnussen out-qualified team-mate Romain Grosjean on both previous appearances at the track.
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. 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 and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.