HomeFormula 1Welcome To Le Castellet: All You Need To Know...

Welcome To Le Castellet: All You Need To Know About The French Grand Prix

- Advertisement -

After spending well over a decade in the wilderness, the French Grand Prix made a sensational return to the roster in 2018.
In more ways, it was a throwback to a bygone era of Formula 1 where cars running on the V8s and V10s vroomed in irrepressible and unabashed thunder.
Nestled in the sublime Cote d’Azur, the famous Circuit Paul Ricard is a vintage F1 venue, situated miles from Paris and amid the joie de vivre of the quintessential French countryside.
Legends like Prost, Senna, Schumacher, and Piquet among others have driven here in their pomp, long before modern icons like Vettel, Raikkonen or Hamilton made their debuts.
Where most tracks put the cars to the very limit, some putting the viewer and drivers back amid the urban grind, picture Singapore and Monaco, the French Grand Prix places drivers in the middle of a melange of history and long-standing sporting tradition.
So eternal is the famous F1 venue to the world’s fastest form of motor-racing that it is widely believed that the concept of Grand Prix racing emerged here in France.

The first contest being held even before the start of WWI.

French Grand Prix
There’s no Magny Cours now, as Paul Ricard has a contract until 2020 (Mad Mimi)

To think of it from a historical standpoint, this is the track where the superstars of tomorrow- Verstappen, Leclerc- will compete where stalwarts like Fangio and Hunt once battled sans much of the paraphernalia related to safety gear.
A renowned racing venue, the French Grand Prix, until 2008, had fielded as many as 16 different venues.
But in 2018, Le Castellet was checkered with an endless barrage of the French national flags which would soon find the august company of hundreds of thousands of Mercedes flags.
Winning the sensational 53-lap contest akin to an emperor, Lewis Hamilton would extend his lead over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel putting his Mercedes on top demonstrating a solid drive from the pole position.
Then, enduring a winless-run, despite suffering from a somewhat indifferent form, Valtteri Bottas would set the fastest lap, going at a ballsy 1:34:225 at the 309-km long track.
A faltering Vettel, an imperious Max Verstappen, and a usually relaxed Kimi Raikkonen would form major headlines apart from the leader of the pack, the Dutchman and the Finn making for second and third on the grid.

- Advertisement -

Hamilton’s delivers an ace in 2018

While all this while, Hamilton would emerge as an unchallenged ruler in conquering France akin to the legendary Napoleon.
A track designed in a manner that tests the aero-functioning package of a car to the very hilt, Circuit Paul Ricard, designed five decades back in time, is checkered with 9 turns and is 3.812-km long.
Unfurling a nice combination of tight-corners and a long main straight, punctuated by an elongated track design, the French Grand Prix of 2019 could well see some fantastic overtaking maneuvres on Sunday.
With 2 DRS zones, one each on the main straight and the iconic Mistral straight, the track demands nothing less than a fine balance of speed and excellent car control, tricking drivers so accustomed to going at over 300 km to wither down almost to the first gear whilst tackling the last corner, a tight-right hander.

Now over to the drivers and teams!

French Grand Prix
Lewis had won his 66th race when he conquered France, in 2018

While Ferrari and Red Bull will enter round eight ever so accustomed of facing what could most likely be another Mercedes domination, we might have an excellent chance to see another Hamilton versus Vettel show, something that didn’t exactly end with too many smiles for the red cars.
A controversy that would escalate given the polarising views as to whether the five-second penalty handed to Vettel- at Montreal-was fair or a bit too harsh could well see the German hoist the Italian flag on this classy French dominion.
While Lewis would want nothing more than another win, hopefully, his sixth of the season, and teammate Bottas, with two victories against his name would desire a third, Ferrari would fancy their chances as well.
This is despite team principal Mattia Binotto spilling water on the fiery desire for a much-wanted Ferrari win suggesting, “the track isn’t suited for the SF-90!”
While that is something that the race will unfold, one can be sure that Vettel and Leclerc will be going on an out-and-out attack to pounce on Mercedes, not to mention the threat of Mad Max cropping up as a thrill.
While Renault will fancy something bright for their home Grand Prix contest, with Ricciardo’s newfound confidence- following a fighting P6 at Montreal- fanning their flames, it’ll be stupid to undermine the likes of McLaren and Haas, with in-form Carlos Sainz seeming in good touch, even as K-Mag would want to make up for a somber Canadian Grand Prix.

But that said, what can the likes of Kimi do?

French Grand Prix
© Copyright: Charniaux / xpb.cc

For someone who won over a decade back in time, albeit at Magny Cours, can the Iceman keep his cool to revive the fledgling campaign of Alfa Romeo?
On a venue where Ferrari’s ace Michael Schumacher has delivered sensational victories, on 8 separate occasions, with Ferrari winning on a remarkable 17 occasions, who will prevail in this lair of the titans?
 

- Advertisement -
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

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

Why are more and more MotoGP riders using the Noson nasal dilator?

Introduction MotoGP riders or athletes are physically fit and healthy individuals and their muscles are continuously functioning and used during the performance. As a fan...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Suresh Raina Batted India Into The Finals of 2011 World Cup

Its been 9 years, since India won the Cricket World Cup defeating Sri Lanka on 2 April, 2011. The images and visuals of...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Ajax XI if they didn’t sell their star players

Based in Amsterdam, AFC Ajax, who incidentally draw their name from the legendary Greek hero of the same name, are the most successful club...

Age Fraud in Indian Cricket: Are players really to be blamed?

There have been times while watching a cricket match when we tend to hear commentators comment on cricketers’ age. We as fans have many...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

5 famous players to play for both Leeds United and Liverpool

Leeds United are back in the Premier League after 16 years and will play Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday in their very first match...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -