F1 race predictions: French GP 2018
Lewis Hamilton hammered his way into qualifying with a brilliant 1.30.029 powering himself ahead of Bottas and Vettel. It was appearing to be an interesting qualification, however, the lack of rain somewhere made 1st ever qualification in the Circuit Paul Ricard ever since 1990 not so promising as expected. If the forecast is to be believed it may rain on race day and Lewis Hamilton has always been proved lethal in rain.
Overview of lap
The 3.6 km circuit has been a test circuit for a long period of time and has 167 ways to finish the lap. A lap of Circuit Paul Ricard starts with a heavy breaking left-hand turn in turn 1 following the wiggle turn 2 and continuing towards turn 3, light breaking on turn 3 following the apexes and a committed tight right-hander exits into turn 6 where we have first DRS powering all the way to turn 7, coming to the confusing S chicane where pilots have fare chances of overtaking each other however many pilots like Valtteri Bottas have criticised the chicane calling it "decreasing chance of overtaking". At the end of turn 9, the cars power all way to right-hander of turn 10. By turn 11 cars carry a lot of speed and the common wind plays its part in a lot of under and over-steer of cars coming up to turn 12 where there is a slow left-hander followed by the right and then quick left-hand apex following into the last turn as cars power up to complete a lap of Circuit Paul Ricard
So here are 4 possible outcomes:-
1. Chances of Lewis Hamilton converting the pole into race victory and possible Mercedes 1,2.
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton has fare chances of converting his pole into the race victory and stands on the top-most stand of the podium.
The Mercedes ace has been proven lethal when leading from poles and is known for converting poles into a race victory. The Briton has been lately struggling with the old engine which has cost him the championship lead, however, Lewis Hamilton is all positive about race and is most likely going to take the checkered flag first at the French GP.
Another X-Factor for Mercedes is Valtteri Bottas having his chance to fend Ferrari and Red Bulls following the engine updates.
Mercedes have a golden chance of bringing back both of their cars home, finishing P1 and P2 respectively
2.Sebastian Vettel pulling off from a good race start and go wheel to wheel with Hamilton.
Vettel has been a clinical and competitive pilot so Mercedes needs to take care of Vettel who is just behind them. With new spec engine, the Mercedes seems to have a vast advantage over Ferrari however they cant breathe in peace because of the possible threat of Sebastian Vettel. In Q3 Vettel actually lost around 1/10 second because of the wide oversteer at turn 10 which proved costly otherwise maybe the story would have been different,
At the moment the top 3 are extremely close to each other.
Watch out for Sebastian Vettel.
3. Bulls can again taste podiums.
The Red Bull Racing is known for shrewd strategies even though Red Bull would be relying on some VSC moments or maybe an undercut. Bulls can prove a threat for Vettel and even for Bottas if the pit strategies go as Red Bull has planned.
Apart from the technical factor, we have Max Verstappen who is known for taking risks even when there are extremely low chances and interestingly Max seems to perform better when away from a podium position
The rain can play a major factor like Brazil 2016 where Max powered himself to P3. Rain has always been a performance enhancer for Max Verstappen.
4. Mid-Field Group
The battle for best of the rest continues and a new name, Charles LeClerc has also been added to this group. The McLarens and Williams are at the moment out of contention, however, Charles, two of the HAAS, Gasly followed by Force India have high chances of action as they fight for points and interesting point here is that Charles and all these midfielders are close to 1/10 of second to each other.
The rookie Charles LeClerc is proving to be a prodigy after a brilliant and well-deserved P8 in the final part of qualifying, has the potential to climb up another position.
Hopes are still high for Romain Grosjean who starts from 10th on the grid. The HAAS cars have proved better this weekend at France and have high chances of finishing just behind the top 3.
Delay of updates for Force India is proving to be very costly as they managed to qualify 13 and 11.
A stunner can be expected from Carlos Sainz who can manage to stay behind the top 3.
McLaren and Williams may improve especially Fernando Alonso who can perform better if it rains on Sunday as the weather reports suggest overcast.