1069th F1 GRAND PRIX | 90th FRENCH GRAND PRIX | 18th GRAND PRIX AT CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD
2021 POLESITTER: MAX VERSTAPPEN | 2021 WINNER: MAX VERSTAPPEN
Circuit Paul Ricard’s recent history doesn’t include many standout races – but the 2021 French Grand Prix bucked that trend. The 2022 French Grand Prix is set to take place on July 22-24.
Friday 22nd July
Free Practice 1 – 2:00pm Local Time/ 1:00pm UK Time
Free Practice 2 – 5:00pm Local Time/ 4:00pm UK Time
Saturday 23rd July
Free Practice 3 – 1:00pm Local Time/ 12:00pm UK Time
Qualifying- 4:00pm Local Time/ 3:00pm UK Time
Sunday 24th July
The 2022 French Grand Prix – 3:00pm Local Time/ 2:00pm UK Time
- Lewis Hamilton will become the sixth driver to have started 300 Grands Prix this weekend. He’s the first driver to make 300 race appearances with only one engine manufacturer.
- This weekend, Max Verstappen will overtake Mark Webber as the driver to have made the most Grand Prix starts with Red Bull. Webber made 129 starts with the team between 2007 and 2013. This will be Verstappen’s 130th appearance, having made his debut with the team at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.
- This will be the first French Grand Prix since 2001 to feature two French drivers on the grid who have previously won a race. Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon race this weekend, while Jean Alesi and Olivier Panis were on the grid in 2001.
- Fernando Alonso will overtake Kimi Raikkonen as the driver to have completed the most Grand Prix laps in Formula 1 history if he completes the opening three laps of the French Grand Prix. Alonso has completed 18,619 laps so far in his career.
WHAT HAS CHANGED AT THE CIRCUIT SINCE F1’S LAST VISIT?
There has been little change at Circuit Paul Ricard since the 2021 French Grand Prix. A new gravel trap has been installed at Turn 7.
HOW MANY DRS ZONES WILL THERE BE AT THE FRENCH GRAND PRIX?
Like in 2021, there will be two DRS zones at the 2022 French Grand Prix. The activation zones are on the main straight and on the run between Turns 7 & 8.
CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD TRACK GUIDE
The French Grand Prix returned to the F1 calendar in 2018. Its new home – Circuit Paul Ricard – is no stranger to long-term F1 fans, having held races between 1971 and 1990.
France’s motorsport heritage is illustrious, with the country holding the first ever ‘Grand Prix’ in 1906. Sixteen different venues have played host to the event since its inception – most recently the Magny-Cours track hosted F1 until 2008.
After a decade off the calendar, the French Grand Prix returned in 2018 at the Circuit Paul Ricard. Located near Marseilles, construction of the circuit took less than a year and the track opened its gates for the first time on 19th April 1970. The circuit was built with funding from drink magnate Paul Ricard, hence its colloquial name. The track is officially known as ‘Le Castellet’ after the village it is located in.
The French Grand Prix first appeared at Paul Ricard in 1971 and hosted the event on various occasions throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The track was shortened in 1986, following the fatal crash of Elio de Angelis, who was testing a Brabham. The circuit was not to blame for the crash, the rear wing of the Brabham had broken, sending the car flying off at the then fast first turn. Nonetheless, the changes to the circuit were made as a precaution. The race moved to the Magny-Cours circuit in 1990, where it remained for the next eighteen years.
The Paul Ricard track itself is incredibly flat, due to it being built on a plateau. The elevation change around the circuit is just 30 meres. The track has long run-off areas, painted black, red and blue, giving the circuit a distinctive look. The track has been used a lot for testing because of these long run off areas and the fact that you can generally expect good weather. Another perk of the track is the Mistral Straight, which is a mile long.
WHO WILL BE IN THE PRESS CONFERENCE?
The world’s media will have the opportunity to talk to the drivers before practice on Friday morning. Two groups of five drivers will appear in the press conference this weekend:
Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
Lando Norris (McLaren)
Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
Mick Schumacher (Haas)
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Sergio Pérez (Red Bull)
The media will also be talking to prominent members of Formula 1’s teams on Saturday morning. The team members appearing in the Teams’ Press Conference for this race weekend are Jan Monchaux (Alfa Romeo), James Key (McLaren), Mario Isola (Pirelli), Laurent Rossi (Alpine), Andrew Shovlin (Mercedes) and Jost Capito (Williams).
WHO WILL BE THE RACE DIRECTOR?
Eduardo Freitas will be the race director at the 2022 French Grand Prix.
WHO WILL BE THE DRIVER STEWARD?
Each weekend a former Formula 1 driver, or a driver from another prominent series of motorsport, joins the stewards to help judge any incidents from a drivers’ perspective. The Driver Steward this weekend is Enrique Bernoldi.
The weather forecast for the week ahead at the circuit currently looks like this:
WHICH TYRE COMPOUNDS WILL BE USED?
In 2022, each team will be supplied with the same selection of tyres by Pirelli. Pirelli will supply the C2, C3 and C4 compounds for this race weekend.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME AT THE FRENCH GRAND PRIX?
A strategic battle brought about a fascinating French Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen clinching victory from Lewis Hamilton on the penultimate lap.
Plenty of drivers explored the limits in Free Practice, with a multitude of spins and trips over Circuit Paul Ricard’s abrasive run-off areas. In Q1, both Yuki Tsunoda and Mick Schumacher found their way into the barriers, each bringing a halt to proceedings. Schumacher’s earlier lap was good enough to see him record Haas’ only Q2 appearance of the year, but he was unable to take part in the session.
Max Verstappen secured pole position for the race but went a little too deep at Turn 1, handing the lead to Lewis Hamilton. 20 laps into the race, Verstappen pulled back ahead of the Mercedes thanks to his undercutting strategy. The McLarens were providing plenty of entertainment in the midfield, with Daniel Ricciardo also benefiting from the undercut and Lando Norris going head to head with his rivals. Norris eventually overtook his team-mate for seventh place.
The Mercedes got back ahead of Verstappen’s Red Bull following a second pit stop for the Dutchman. Bottas soon came under pressure from Verstappen on his fresh tyres and once Verstappen had cleared the Finn, he set off in search of Hamilton. Verstappen found his way past on the penultimate lap of the race and went on to take victory. Sergio Perez finished third following a late race overtake on Bottas.