LEWIS HAMILTON WINS AT PAUL RICARD FOR MERCEDES AFTER TWO OF HIS RIVALS CLASH ON THE FIRST LAP AND THE SAFETY CAR COMES OUT
PODIUM FOR FERRARI’S KIMI RAIKKONEN WHILE HIS TEAM MATE VETTEL FINISHES IN THE TOP FIVE AFTER GREAT RECOVERY FROM THE BACK
A SPECIAL ‘GORILLA’ TROPHY DESIGNED BY RICHARD ORLINSKI FOR THE WINNER OF THE PIRELLI-SPONSORED FRENCH GRAND PRIX
– Lewis Hamilton won a race for Mercedes that was heavily influenced by the first lap, when two of his rivals clashed and a safety car came out for five laps. A number of drivers made a pit stop under the safety car due to car damage, notably Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who both switched onto the soft tyre on lap two before making a second stop in the closing stages of the race. Both finished in the points, having dropped to the back, after capitalising on this improvised strategy to move up the leaderboard as others stopped. The strategy for Mercedes and Red Bull was to start on supersoft: Hamilton (along with runner-up Max Verstappen) then switched onto soft for the final stint. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen adopted an alternative one-stop strategy that resulted in a strong podium finish. Hamilton claimed a special tricolour ‘gorilla’ trophy for his victory, designed by celebrated French sculptor Richard Orlinski to celebrate Pirelli’s title sponsorship of the French Grand Prix.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING “An uncertain weather forecast added to the strategic game today, with the risk of rain meaning that teams wanted to avoid the risk of getting caught out on the wrong type of tyre. As it was, the rain didn’t actually materialise, but it was another potential factor to bear in mind. As expected this was a one-stop race for most drivers, but there was a wide variety of one stoppers, including some very long stints on the soft tyres. We also saw Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas complete the race strongly with two very different two-stoppers, with Ferrari and Mercedes having split their strategies across each of their cars, reacting to the race circumstances. This confirmed our expectation that all three compounds were valid choices as part of an overall race strategy today, delivering a strong performance throughout”.
BEST TIME BY COMPOUND
Verstappen 1m34.275s Bottas 1m34.225s Vettel 1m34.485s Hamilton 1m34.509s Raikkonen 1m34.398s Alonso 1m35.133s Ricciardo 1m35.382s Hamilton 1m35.663s Hulkenberg 1m35.873s
LONGEST STINT OF THE RACE
STRATEGIES Lewis Hamilton won the race using a one-stopper as expected, switching from supersoft to soft on lap 33. This was the same tactic adopted by Max Verstappen in second, although the Red Bull driver stopped much sooner. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in third went for a completely different option, starting on ultrasoft and finishing on supersoft. This enabled the Finn to make a crucial pass in the closing stages of the race that earned him a podium.
COMPOUND DRIVER LAPS
ULTRASOFT Hartley 38
SUPERSOFT Vandoorne 40
SOFT Sirotkin 51
Car Driver Start Pit 1 Pit 2 44 HAM SSu Sn (33) 33 VER SSu Sn (25) 7 RAI USu SSn (34) 3 RIC SSu Sn (28) 5 VET USu Sn (1) USu (40) 20 MAG USu Sn (28) 77 BOT SSu Sn (1) SSn (39) 55 SAI USu Sn (26) 27 HUL Sn USu (37) 16 LEC USu SSn (31) 8 GRO USu SSn (34) 2 VAN SSn USn (40) 9 ERI SSn USn (35) 28 HAR USn SSn (38) 35 SIR USn Sn (1) 14 ALO SSn Sn (1) USn (46) 18 STR USn Sn (1) 11 PER Sn 31 OCO USn 10 GAS SSn
US= Ultrasoft SS= Supersoft S= Soft