Can Ferrari and Charles Leclerc construct on title momentum? Watch French Grand Prix this weekend, with all periods dwell on Sky Sports activities F1; Full schedule at backside of article – qualifying on Saturday at 3pm, race on Sunday at 2pm
Final Up to date: 18/07/22 6:12am
Ferrari are assured they’ve wrestled again momentum in opposition to Pink Bull because the F1 2022 season speeds onto the French Grand Prix, the place Mercedes might additionally discover themselves again in competition on the entrance.
Ferrari and Pink Bull – and their star drivers Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen – have been the title protagonists thus far this yr and whereas Verstappen has constructed a strong factors lead, Leclerc ended a seven-race drought to win final day trip in Austria and re-energise his problem.
Austria was additionally encouraging for the chasing staff and driver due to the turnaround in tempo, with Ferrari seemingly lastly matching Pink Bull’s straight-line velocity whereas additionally sustaining their edge within the corners.
That has raised the stakes for this weekend’s French GP from Le Castellet, with all periods dwell on Sky Sports activities F1 and the race on Sunday at 2pm.
Charles Leclerc got here out on prime after one other dramatic battle along with his title rival Max Verstappen in Austria.
“We had an obstacle in comparison with the Pink Bull, little doubt, when it comes to straight line velocity, particularly in DRS zones,” defined Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto on his staff’s enchancment.
“We labored loads on it. We launched a brand new rear wing, solely on one car to start out [for Leclerc in Canada] after which on each vehicles because the UK. And with that new rear wing, I feel we merely lowered the hole.
“Now we have closed the hole we had when it comes to velocity. I feel they nonetheless have gotten a slight benefit, however little or no or negligible.”
Certainly, in Austria, Leclerc simply overtook Verstappen 3 times within the race – marking the primary time this season the Dutchman had been handed and overwhelmed on a Sunday – whereas the Ferrari car was additionally kinder on tyres.
Charles Leclerc crosses the road first to win the Austrian GP, his first win not ranging from pole!
“Within the energy restricted [corners], we’re very shut,” added Binotto. “Then it is solely in regards to the grip restricted corners the place we are able to make the distinction.”
At a observe with lengthy straights and high-speed corners, the following installment on this title battle guarantees to be one other epic.
Why Mercedes might rejoin the combat this weekend
There’s additionally each likelihood it’s a three-team battle on the entrance reasonably than two – with Mercedes anticipated to be aggressive once more this weekend.
Though Mercedes have struggled with bouncing and outright tempo this season, they’ve loved their finest weekends at clean circuits just like Paul Ricard. At Silverstone for the British GP, the observe structure in addition to very important upgrades noticed Mercedes combat for the win for the primary time in 2022.
The reigning eight-time world champions struggled considerably in Austria – however nonetheless had been within the battle for pole and scored massive factors on the Sunday – and have at all times been fast on the French GP, a race that has lengthy been touted as a possibility for Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
Lewis Hamilton was pleased with the staff’s efforts after securing a third-place end following a troublesome begin to the weekend in Austria.
“It is a clean circuit, just a little like Silverstone, quick corners and on paper at the least it appears like we should always have good efficiency there,” staff boss Toto Wolff instructed Sky Sports activities F1.
A title problem might be a bridge too far given their deficit, however can Mercedes compete for his or her first win of the season? Will we have now a three-team, six-driver combat on the French GP?
Discover out all of the solutions this weekend, dwell on Sky Sports activities.
Sky Sports activities F1’s dwell French GP schedule
Thursday, July 21
2pm: Drivers’ Press Convention
Friday, July 22
10.35am: F2 Apply
12.30pm: French GP Apply One (session begins 1pm)
3.45pm: French GP Apply Two (session begins 4pm)
5.25pm: F2 Qualifying
6.10pm: W Sequence Qualifying
7pm: The F1 Present
Saturday, July 23
11.45am: French GP Apply Three (session begins 12pm)
1.30pm: W Sequence Race
2.35pm: French GP Qualifying Construct-up
3pm: French Grand Prix Qualifying
4.55pm: F2 Dash Race
6pm: Ted’s Qualifying Pocket book
Sunday, July 24
8.30am: F2 Function Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: French GP Construct-up
2pm: The French Grand Prix
4pm: Chequered Flag: French GP Response
5pm: Ted’s Pocket book
5.30pm: French GP Highlights