Starting Grid 2019 French F1 GP
Event: French Grand Prix
Track: Circuit Paul Ricard
Start time: 15:10 (local) | 14:10 GMT | 06:10 PT
Hamilton scored his third pole position. He will start from pole position for the 86th time in his Formula 1 career in France and could even be 0,5 sec. quicker if he didn't made a mistake in turn 14. It was also a great day for McLaren since a long time with Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz on P5 and P6.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position at the Paul Ricard circuit in very warm conditions, setting a new track record in the process with a pole time 1.7 seconds faster than last year. Along with seven other drivers in the top 10, Hamilton set his fastest Q2 time on the yellow medium compound, meaning that these are the tyres the top eight will start the race on tomorrow.
Start Grid 2019 French F1 GP
|4||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:29.409|
|9||10||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull||1:30.184|
|10||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:30.408|
|11||23||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso||1:30.461|
|12||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo||1:30.533|
|14||11||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point||1:30.738|
|17||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||1:31.726|
|19||26||*Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:31.564|
- Daniil Kvyat (26) Toro Rosso has to start from back of grid due to multiple power unit element changes.
- George Russel (63) Williams has to start from back of grid due to multiple power unit element changes.
Quickest 2019 French F1 GP strategy
The fastest strategy for the 53-lap French Grand Prix is a one-stopper. And the optimal one-stopper is to start on the medium tyre for 22 to 27 laps, then switch to hard until the end. If you start on the soft, a one-stopper is marginal but here’s how to do it: start on the soft for 14 to 16 laps, then take the hard to the end.
Finally, there’s a two-stopper but this is much slower, so best avoided unless you have to: also because of a different pit lane layout this year. For a two-stopper: start on the soft for five to eight laps, then run the medium for 22 to 27 laps, and finally medium again to the end. The key to the strategy here in any case will be managing degradation on the soft and (to a lesser extent) the medium tyre, in the warm conditions, which is why the first strategy is clearly the preferable one – and why so many drivers selected the medium in Q2.
What to keep in mind during the race?
- This year’s pole position time (set on the soft) was 1.7 seconds faster than 2018 on the equivalent compound, despite track temperatures that peaked at 53 degrees centigrade today and variable asphalt.
- The medium tyre was used extensively: eight of the top drivers qualifying in the top 10 used it to set their best Q2 time. The only exceptions were Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) and Pierre Gasly (Red Bull).
- Track evolution: the track got progressively faster during the day and this trend is likely to continue tomorrow.
- McLaren: with both cars in the top six, it's a promising start for the team.
- Daniil Kvyat: the Toro Rosso driver is forced to start from last on the grid, so could use an alternative strategy to help him make up places.
- A late pit stop: in many races this year, some drivers running in the top 10 have stopped again close to the end of the race to try to pick up the fastest lap point.
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