Formula One says bonjour this weekend as the World Championship heads to the French Grand Prix for the first time in 10 years.
Felipe Massa was victorious on F1’s last visit to France in 2008. But that was at Magny Cours. This time they’re off to Paul Ricard near Marseille.
The venue hasn’t hosted a Formula One race since 1990, but it has been used extensively for testing.
Even so, there’s little data for teams to go on, which could make for an intriguing event after a couple of processions in Monaco and Canada.
Sebastian Vettel’s third win of the season in Montreal lifted him to the top of the standings, albeit only one point above title rival Lewis Hamilton.
Our traders can’t call it this weekend, with the pair sharing 6/4 joint-favouritism to win on Sunday.
The sport could do with an exciting Grand Prix, and there are elements of this Paul Ricard track which should suit each of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull.
The long mistral straight – albeit split by a chicane – should favour the former pair, while the twisty end to the lap could suit Ricciardo and Verstappen’s Red Bulls.
Behind that bunch, the Renault team appear to be best of the rest, and will be keen on a good result on home soil.
Despite the news that Red Bull will end their Renault association for Honda next season, the French squad remain optimistic about the future.
During the fortnight gap since the Canadian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso went and won the Le Mans 24hr race at his first attempt.
The Spaniard now has two parts of Motorsports Triple Crown, and 16/1 says he follows up last Sunday’s French success with a podium seven days later.
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