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5 Drivers who need to deliver a strong French Grand Prix

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The 2022 French Grand Prix is bound to be an exciting racing fiesta between Ferrari and Red Bull, two of the sport’s usual frontrunners this season. 

Smashing the grid with a seventh pole of the year, Leclerc has positioned himself in a very strong place to dominate the event. But will reigning world champion Verstappen make things that easy for the Ferrari driver?

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The chart topping Red Bull driver begins the Le Castellet drive from second on the grid. 

With its long straights and an intricate mix of slow and medium fast corners, the noted racing venue is all set to unfurl a hotly contested race, one bound to become a touch hotter given the soaring temperatures in which the Grand Prix is all set to be conducted. 

Having said that, which drivers need to deliver a strong French GP and why? 

Yuki Tsunoda 

With results like the DNF at Great Britain, fourteenth at Canada, followed by a sixteenth at Austria, Yuki Tsunoda desperately needs a strong race weekend. 

That’s further exemplified by the fact that the last he scored points in an F1 Grand Prix was five races ago; the Japanese driver would score a tenth at Spain. 

What has followed since then is a barren run of form for the F1 newcomer. 

At circuit Paul Ricard, the Sagamihara-born begins from eighth on the grid. Gasly, meanwhile, will commence the race from fourteenth. 

Can Yuki, given he’s in a far better position today at the back of a decent Saturday qualifying run, collect a useful result for Alpha Tauri? 

Carlos Sainz Jr. 

Few drivers have faced such extreme scenarios and polarising results this season as Carlos Sainz Jr. of Ferrari. 

He’s suffered DNF’s, clinched his maiden career victory and also endured the harsh reality of the sport: not being the team’s number one driver despite giving it everything. 

And as Carlos begins his 2022 French GP drive, he’d like to do much better than he has at the 5.8 km-long venue; a previous best result being the P6 he gathered with McLaren in 2019. 

Moreover, if there was ever any motivation needed to drive a strong race then, there’s plenty there for the Madrid-born driver. 

Having used a full haul of the engine parts, Sainz begins his race from nineteenth on the grid. That is essentially as a backmaker. Furthermore, he enters the Grand Prix at the back of a heartbreaking DNF at Austria. 

Time to hit back with vengeance? 

Daniel Ricciardo 

Where it stands in 2022, Daniel Ricciardo has been able to outperform his McLaren teammate Lando Norris on only two occasions in qualifying. And that didn’t change a hell of a lot on July 23.  

A few hours back, the Belgian-British driver scored a vital fourth in qualifying whilst Ricciardo scored a sedate eleventh. 

Though helped by the grid penalties to Kevin Magnussen and Sainz for using new engine parts, Ricciardo begins the 71-lap challenge from ninth on the grid. 

It’s an interesting – if also challenging- position to be in with young Yuki out in front on eighth and Esteban Ocon of Alpine right behind his McLaren. 

So what can Ricciardo do? 

A finish outside points is not going to help his fortunes one bit; the under pressure McLaren driver has found himself under the weather and in not the happiest of places at McLaren especially in comparison to the frequently scoring Norris. 

Daniel must deliver a drive to remember and hit back form. A P9 at Austria, his most latest race result, should compel him to score more or if not, score just as many, at the very least. 

Fernando Alonso 

A driver as talented and rare as they come, Fernando Alonso is a bit of a legend. He’s someone who’s enjoyed and dominated a run in the sport that measures nearly two decades, which is no ordinary feat by any stretch of the imagination . 

He was the young gun at Renault who deposed Ferrari’s Schumacher, the dangerously talented driver at McLaren who asserted his presence at the Ron Dennis-led outfit and the man who won hearts, if not the championship, at Ferrari. 

The former McLaren driver, who returned to the sport with the Alpine F1 team (formerly Renault), has ever since his comeback, given glimpses of his mighty talent and undeniable spirit. 

Feats like the Qatar podium of 2021 and the valiant second at Canada, which was just a few races ago have only further cemented Alonso’s legend.  

And now, Alonso finds himself just three laps away from becoming the driver to have raced most laps in F1 history, an astonishing landmark that currently belongs to Kimi Raikkonen. 

Part of the reason why the Spanish samurai must deliver a strong race and clinch a memorable race result. Moreover, the racing veteran begins the contest from seventh on the grid. 

Lewis Hamilton 

Fifteen long seasons in the sport, 103 wins, several Grand Slams and seven world titles, what is it that Lewis Hamilton hasn’t and cannot do in F1?

Now about to start what’ll be his 300th Formula One Grand Prix, the Stevenage-born multiple record-breaking driver will likely race a Grand Prix, where he could secure yet another podium this year. 

Beginning from fourth on the grid is surely going to help the ambitious racing driver whose best bet for a strong result this year has been a podium finish since race wins have been so hard to come by. 

And should Lewis actually bag another podium, it would be his fourth on the trot, something his Mercedes team would accept with absolute glee. 

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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