Formula 1 is returning to France after a decade-long hiatus, and with championship leader Sebastian Vettel holding a solitary point lead over Lewis Hamilton, the time for all 20 drivers to take on a new circuit has never been more significant.
The 2018 race marks the first time that the French Grand Prix has been run since 2008, and the fifty-eighth time it has been included as a round of the Formula One World Championship.
The Circuit Paul Ricard will this weekend host its first French Grand Prix since 1990.
This weekend will prove there is everything to play for, as Formula 1 heads into its first ever triple header of races, with Austria and Great Britain coming up in consecutive weeks.
2018 FRENCH GRAND PRIX: FORM GUIDE
Vettel's win in Canada vaulted the four-time world champion into the lead of the driver standings, albeit by a point over Hamilton.
Canada marked Vettel's third win of 2018, following his victories in Australia and Bahrain. Hamilton (Azerbaijan, Spain) and Daniel Ricciardo (China, Monaco) are the others to have jumped on the board this season.
Heading to Paul Ricard, race victories at the last three French Grands Prix hosted at the circuit were shared between McLaren and Ferrari. However, given that was over quarter of a century ago, no team or driver in 2018 will read too far into that.
However, Paul Ricard's long straights will reward teams with strong engine power, while the long, sweeping corners will favour teams with good aero. From this, expect Ferrari and Mercedes to be locked together at the front, but Red Bull have made significant gains.
“Ferrari are the favourites, based on what we saw in Montreal" ⬇️ https://t.co/ZIQkgnyy8j— Formula 1 (@F1) June 21, 2018
Most importantly, given no driver has raced there in Formula 1 - away from sporadic tyre tests - Paul Ricard will level the playing field.
There will be three French drivers on the grid - Romain Grosjean (Haas), Esteban Ocon (Force India) and Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso).
2018 FRENCH GRAND PRIX: KEY STATS
- Only four of the current drivers took part in the last French Grand Prix, which was held at Magny-Cours in 2008: Hamilton, Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. Now-retired Felipe Massa won that race ahead of Raikkonen.
- A whopping 10 out of the 20 drivers on the grid hadn't been born when the last French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard took place in 1990.
- Alain Prost's 1990 win at Paul Ricard was Ferrari’s 100th. If either Vettel or Raikkonen grab the win on Sunday, it will be Ferrari's 233rd.
It's been almost three decades since #F1 raced at the Circuit Paul Ricard 🇫🇷June 20, 2018
- If Kimi Raikkonen (38 years old) takes pole position at Paul Ricard, it will make him the oldest polesitter since Nigel Mansell took pole as 41-year-old at the 1994 Australian Grand Prix.
- Circuit Paul Ricard has 167 possible layouts, making it one of the most versatile circuits in the world. Formula 1 will use the 5.842 km-long layout.
With 167 possible layouts, it's one of the most versatile circuits in the world!June 21, 2018
2018 FRENCH GRAND PRIX: TYRE COMPOUNDS
Pirelli will supply the purple-walled
ultrasoft as the softest available compound, with the red-walled
supersoft sitting in the middle and the yellow-walled
soft the hardest.
2018 FRENCH GRAND PRIX: WEATHER
It'll be a warm weekend, with highs of 30 degrees during Friday’s practice sessions, before dropping to around 26 degrees on Saturday and Sunday.
However, rain is predicted on Saturday, which could add spice to FP3 and qualifying.
2018 FRENCH GRAND PRIX: SESSION TIMES
FP1: Friday 8:00pm
FP2: Saturday 12:00am
FP3: Saturday 9:00pm
Qualifying: Sunday 12:00am
Race: Monday 12:10am
All times shown AEST.
It's been a while since we raced at Circuit Paul Ricard!
Forgotten the features and flow of this old-school track? 🤔June 18, 2018
2018 FRENCH GRAND PRIX: HOW TO WATCH
All Formula 1 Grands Prix in 2018 are shown live and ad-free on
Fox Sports, with Fox Sports 506 to be your port of call for the 2018 French Grand Prix.
F1 DRIVER STANDINGS
AFTER ROUND 7 (CANADA)
|4th||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||84||-37|
|6th||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||50||-71|
|9th||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Renault||24||-97|
F1 CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS
AFTER ROUND 7 (CANADA)
Source : http://www.sportingnews.com/au/other-sports/news/formula-1-french-grand-prix-2018-results-standings-how-to-watch-session-times-form-guide/2kxbvrpfznhm1ab5bxghdbmix