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Old 21 Jun 2019, 07:01 (Ref:3913227)   #1
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French Grand Prix 2019: Grand Prix Weekend Thread

The return of the French Grand Prix last year was an obvious step for Formula 1. It is from France that the term 'Grand Prix' derived. The original was organised by the Automobile Club de France and held on 26th and 27th June 1906 on a 103.18-kilometre layout that went towards the outskirts of Le Mans and near several villages and towns. There were ten French manufacturers, two from Italy (including FIAT) and one from Germany (Mercedes). Cars started at ninety-second intervals and the winning car was a Renault, driven by Hunagarian Ferenc Szisz in 12 hours 14 minutes. Regulations included a maximum weight limit and fuel consumption of 30 litres per 100 kilometres. In the intervening 113 years, this technology and performance-driven sport has, of course, changed enormously, and during that time the French Grand Prix has played quite a major part in its history, with the race featuring in many guises.

In 1907 and 1908, Dieppe held the Grand Prix, at which point the regulations had both a minimum weight and a maximum cylinder bore, but no fuel consumption limit. After a three-year hiatus, the race returned to Dieppe in 1912, with Coupe de l’Auto cars permitted alongside Grand Prix cars. The Coupe cars had 3-litre engines, while the Grand Prix cars were limited only by a minimum width of 1750mm. Georges Boillot won the 1539.778 km-race by thirteen minutes in his Peugeot.

The 1913 race was held on a public road circuit in Amiens, moving to Lyon in 1914. Mercedes took the first three spots. Grand Prix racing resumed after World War 1 in 1921 on the Circuit de a Sarthe of Le Mans. The 517.80-kilometre race took a little over four hours to complete by the winner, American Jimmy Murphy in his Duesenberg. Winning driver of the 1907 Dieppe race, Felice Nazzarro, won in 1922 in Strasbourg in a Fiat. Henry Segrave won in his Sunbeam at Tours in 1923 and Giuseppe Campari in an Alfa Romeo in 1924 at Lyon.

The Grand Prix then moved over subsequent years from circuits at Montlhéry, Miramas and Saint-Gaudens, before going back to Le Mans and then to Pau, although not on the street track used in more modern eras. After two years at Montlhéry again, the 1932 French Grand Prix took place at Reims and formed part of the European Championship, and the remaining races before World War 2 were held at these two venues.

In 1947, the French Grand Prix resumed in Lyon, before moving to Reims. The first Formula 1 World Championship French Grand Prix in 1950 was won by Juan Manuel Fangio in an Alfa Romeo. The following year saw one of three occasions where there was more than one winning driver, due to shared cars, with Fangio and Luigi Fagioli taking the spoils for Alfa Romeo. After a misfire in Fangio’s car, Fagioli gave up his and swapped with him during his pit stop. He was angry at having to change, finishing down in 11th in Fangio’s car, and he soon quit the team. Alberto Ascari also took over José Froilán Gonzalez’s Ferrari and they jointly shared second place.

The race moved to Rouen-les-Essarts in 1952 and the rest of the races until 1964 were held either there or at Reims. 1953 saw an excellent battle between Fangio and Mike Hawthorn for the lead, with the latter prevailing. There was other Grand Prix racing in France too. Bordeaux hosted its own non-championship race various times on a street track in the city, with luminaries such as Alberto Ascari, José Froilán Gonzalez and Jean Behra among the winners.

The 1955 French Grand Prix was cancelled due to the Le Mans tragedy. It was Hawthorn who, about to lap Fangio in the Argentinian’s last race, slowed down to let him cross the line first and be able to complete his final lap. After the race moved to Clermont-Ferrand, the short Bugatti Circuit at Le Mans was used in 1967, but only lasted a year. Rouen held the event for the last time in 1968 and the race returned to Clermont-Ferrand, with the French Grand Prix moving to Paul Ricard, near Marseilles, for the first time in 1971. After a race at Clermont-Ferrand the following year, the French Grand Prix alternated between Paul Ricard and Dijon-Prenois until 1985, after which point a shortened Paul Ricard circuit was used until 1990.

It was at Dijon in 1979 that René Arnoux and Gilles Villeneuve banged wheels in their late battle for second place. It was a Ferrari sandwich, with the 1.6-litre turbocharged Renaults of Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Arnoux taking 1st and 3rd place, the first victory in Formula 1 for a turbocharged engine. The use of the short version of Paul Ricard followed Elio de Angelis’s fatal testing accident a few months earlier at the fast Verrerie bends, the last death of a driver in Formula 1 until the San Marino Grand Prix 1994.

In 1990, the Adrian Newey-designed Leyton House cars of Ivan Capelli and Mauricio Gugelmin amazed many by running first and second for the majority of the race. After Gugelmin was passed by Alain Prost, his engine expired after 58 laps, while Capelli had engine difficulties too and was overtaken by Prost on Lap 77 of 80. Capelli held on to finish second.

In 1991, the race moved to Magny-Cours. Although not universally popular as a venue, in part perhaps unfairly attributed to its remote location, it didn’t always produce bad races. In 1999, the top three in qualifying after a wet session was Rubens Barrichello in the Stewart, Jean Alesi in the Sauber and Olivier Panis in the Prost. Heinz-Harald Frentzen ended the race on top in the Jordan Mugen-Honda. The race started dry before it rained heavily and involved Mika Hakkinen spinning, Michael Schumacher dropping back due to an electrical problem, Hakkinen passing Frentzen and the Jordan driver ultimately coming out on top after Hakkinen had to pit for fuel.

After 2008, the Grand Prix was off the calendar until a return to Paul Ricard last year in one of its many new layouts. Long straights are punctuated by some short mid and high-speed corners and rather like the Circuit de Catalunya, it places a wide variety of demands on a car. In 2018, it was Lewis Hamilton who won in a commanding Mercedes performance, from Max Verstappen. Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas collided on the opening lap, for which the Ferrari driver earned a 5-second penalty. They finished down in 5th and 7th respectively.

Circuit length: 5.842km
Number of laps: 53
Race distance: 309.69km
First French Grand Prix: 1906
First World Championship French Grand Prix: 1950
First Grand Prix at this circuit: 1971
First Grand Prix on this configuration: 2018
Dry weather tyre compounds: C2, C3 & C4
Lap Record: 1:34.225 - Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes (2018)



To join in our predictions contest and Fantasy F1 contest, go here: https://tentenths.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=70

Constructors’ championship standings: https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2019/team.html

Drivers’ championship standings:
https://www.formula1.com/en/results....9/drivers.html

French Grand Prix tyre selections: https://cdn-3.motorsport.com/images/...r-driver-1.jpg
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Old 21 Jun 2019, 08:30 (Ref:3913240)   #2
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Thanks for intro as ever BR. Well after France's greatest motor race last weekend, we now move to oldest GP calendar. Hopefully the organisation will be better than last season
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Old 21 Jun 2019, 09:28 (Ref:3913254)   #3
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Cracking intro as always, BR.

Not that it matters but a mate of mine is driving for Williams (trucks, not the race car!). He mentioned that they did a practice pit stop yesterday in 1.82s.

I can't even get the wheel brace on a lug in that time, let alone change 4 wheels and tyres!
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Old 21 Jun 2019, 11:58 (Ref:3913280)   #4
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You're very welcome, as ever.

Wow, that's quick. Williams have been one of the main teams to do sub 2-second stops. Even though it's an incredible time, I've noticed teams struggle to be super consistent with decimals on the pit stops (not that that's a criticism!). I wonder how long it will be before they manage to really nail it regularly.
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Old 21 Jun 2019, 14:59 (Ref:3913324)   #5
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Wow, not sure i've ever seen so many cars falling off a track due to lack of grip!
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Old 21 Jun 2019, 16:31 (Ref:3913347)   #6
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Thanks again Born Racer for the intro!

I’m interested to see how the new pit lane works in use, as we’re racing there in October. Looks much more sensible on paper.....

Interesting that some media are referring to the circuit as ‘Le Castellet’ rather than Paul Ricard, which is more appropriate in my book. Sure the locals prefer the original name to be used as well.
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Old 21 Jun 2019, 17:21 (Ref:3913354)   #7
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FWIW (as you will know Mike) all the signage on the roads around refers to the circuit as Le Castellet.
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Old 21 Jun 2019, 17:34 (Ref:3913362)   #8
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FWIW (as you will know Mike) all the signage on the roads around refers to the circuit as Le Castellet.
Indeed. ‘Circuit du Castellet’ as far as the locals are concerned!

Will also be interesting to learn how the local infrastructure copes with the influx of spectators- after last year!
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Old 21 Jun 2019, 17:34 (Ref:3913363)   #9
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BR, as always, crackin' intro, thank you. They were lucky with the weather today at Paul Ricard. We live an hour North of the circuit and have had rain/storms etc..
More is to come. At the moment the rain is 50 miles west of the circuit and spreading over very slowly.
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Old 22 Jun 2019, 17:06 (Ref:3913506)   #10
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Indeed. ‘Circuit du Castellet’ as far as the locals are concerned!
I guess locals just drink pastis! From the official website, name is Circuit Paul Ricard the location is Le Castellet. It will change nothing. Weather forecast sounds good for tomorrow. Hope Leclerc will be free to express himself this time.
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Old 22 Jun 2019, 17:47 (Ref:3913509)   #11
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Lewis is on pole, again but Vettel is a lowly 7th, with Norris and Sainz 5th and 6th in the McLarens. Who'd have thought?
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Old 22 Jun 2019, 19:33 (Ref:3913529)   #12
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Excellent qualifying from both McLarens! Does Lando have to start on the soft tyre?
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Old 22 Jun 2019, 19:35 (Ref:3913530)   #13
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Well no surprise to see the silver cars at the front but maclaren must be the happiest team at the moment
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Old 22 Jun 2019, 21:24 (Ref:3913558)   #14
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Excellent qualifying from both McLarens! Does Lando have to start on the soft tyre?
IIRC all the top 9 are on the mediums. It’s there on actual pace. Very impressive.
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Old 23 Jun 2019, 05:24 (Ref:3913615)   #15
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IIRC all the top 9 are on the mediums. It’s there on actual pace. Very impressive.
It is very good to see. From memory he used both tyres in FP2, starting on softs, so guess can start the race on either....
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