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F1 2018: French Grand Prix Preview

F1 2018: French Grand Prix Preview

The F1 field will return to French shores for the first time in a decade when the field lines take to the Circuit Paul-Ricard on Sunday the 24th of June. 

The Francophone theme continues this week as the Formula one field moves from the former French colony of Canada to the motherland of French speakers, France. This will be the first time in ten years that France hosts a Grand Prix and we should be in for a cracker with the Circuit Paul-Ricard providing a hell of a lot of overtaking opportunities.

French Grand Prix
Sunday 24 June
Circuit Paul-Ricard

Previous Race
Lewis Hamilton’s dominance in Canada was put to an end as Sebastian Vettel took race honours out in Montreal. The Ferrari ace was in all-conquering form last time out as he set a new qualifying record and then followed that up with a stunning drive that saw him bring his Ferrari across the line in first place. His victory, coupled with Lewis Hamilton’s fifth-place finish, has seen him go a point ahead of Hamilton on the Drivers’ Championship standings.

There was to be some solace for Mercedes as Valtteri Bottas managed to claim second place. He was joined on the podium by Red Bull youngster, Max Verstappen. Canada actually proved to be quite profitable on the points front for Verstappen’s team, as his teammate Daniel Ricciardo claimed fourth. The top six was rounded out by the Kimi Raikkonen, who brought his Ferrari across the line some six seconds behind the fifth-placed Lewis Hamilton.

The remainder of the top ten featured a few of the usual suspects and some surprises with Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz taking seventh and eight, Esteban Ocon claiming ninth, and rookie Charles Leclerc rounding out the top ten.

To Win Outright
Lewis Hamilton 7/4 | Sebastian Vettel 15/10 | Valterri Bottas 7/1 | Max Verstappen 7/1 | Daniel Ricciardo 10/1 | Kimi Raikkonen 10/1 | Fernando Alonso 500/1

The track may not be one that younger F1 fans are familiar with but it has been around since the early 1970’s and has hosted 14 Grand Prix. It has mainly been used as a testing track since it’s heyday, which means most of the teams on the circuit will be familiar with it.

The track measures in at 5.842 kilometres, with the drivers set to do 53 laps this coming Sunday. The track offers15 corners as well as two long straights, where drivers will be able to open up the taps.

In terms of tyres for the weekend, Pirelli have decided to issue the Soft, Supersoft and Ultrasofts. It will be interesting to see how teams manage these as there’s not a lot of data available on the track.

The weather is looking a bit iffy for the weekend with a lot of rain set to fall during qualifying and possibly a shower or two during the main race.

Value Bet – Winning Margin – Under 3 Seconds @ 2/1
With wet weather on the cards, this market could well offer a bit of value. Obviously, we’re looking at a track that is new to the circuit, so I’d certainly advise keeping the stakes down this weekend. Also, it may be advisable to wait until Thursday morning to have a crack on this one, as the weather reports could well change

Fastest Qualifier & Race Winner – Sebastian Vettel 5/4 & 33/20
Again, I’d advise keeping the stakes to a minimum here but I simply cannot help but have a crack on Vettel to claim these markets after his all-conquering display in Canada. The Ferrari ace is in red-hot form and I can see him having extended his lead at the top of the Drivers’ standings come the close of this weekend.

Written by Darry Worthington for

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