A triple-header – three races in as many weekends – was first introduced in 2018, and was criticised by teams. However, triple headers are here to stay when there are 23 races to be run, in a season that lasts around eight months. The French Grand Prix will be followed by back-to-back races in Austria.
What is the circuit like?
The Circuit Paul Ricard is a bit of an overtaking gem. The circuit consists of plenty of corners that can be taken at different speeds and two DRS (Drag Reduction System) zones for speeding past rivals. The weather condition tends to be quite reliable at the track making it a regular spot for teams during test season.
Back to form for Mercedes?
It is no surprise that Mercedes are very disappointed with the results of the last two races.
They scored a total of seven constructors points as Lewis Hamilton finished 7th in Monaco, while rivals Red Bull accumulated 62 points.
The two street circuits favoured Red Bull, but the French Grand Prix is likely to be a different story. The French GP is all about managing the rear tyres, and at Barcelona, Red Bull’s tyre degradation was much faster than Mercedes’.
Plus, since the reintroduction of the French GP to the F1 calendar in 2018, Lewis Hamilton has won both races. It is very difficult to see anything different from happening this time around.
Mclaren vs Ferrari
The battle between the two most famous cars in F1, albeit not for the title, is a welcome sight.
Long gone are the days of Mika Hakkinen vs Michael Schumacher and then Kimi Raikonnen vs Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. Yet, with only two points separating the two giants, fans can be excited, as long as Mclaren can keep up the good work during the triple header.
Reliability will be a huge factor over the next three weekends with spare parts at a premium.
The pressure on the teams to stay operational will undoubtedly lead to sleepless nights, and the demand on drivers to stay out of trouble may prevent going all out for an overtake.
But ahead of the French Grand Prix, Mclaren Team Principal, Andreas Seidl reiterated that he wanted to see McLaren performing better on Saturdays in order to help out their Sundays.
As for Ferrari, they have been very consistent so far, and getting to the finish line hasn’t been an issue.
The problem for them is that they aren’t getting the results that they should be. In fact, Ferrari have only finished on the podium once (Carlos Sainz, Monaco), whereas Mclaren have had two (Lando Norris, Italy and Monaco).