The Mercedes duo showed strong pace on the Paul Ricard circuit straightaway, leading both free practice sessions on Friday.
In the morning Lewis Hamilton was the fastest, while in the second session Valtteri Bottas took command, but the constant was the impressive speed of the Silver Arrow cars. At the end of the day the closest competitor was Ferrari’s Leclerc, six tenths slower than Bottas.
Ferrari tries to recover from the setback suffered in Canada, losing their first victory this season after the penalty given to Sebastian Vettel, and brings updates to the French race. But the results of the first training sessions were not encouraging and the team will have work to do to get closer to the championship leaders.
Mclaren was the big surprise of the day, placing themselves between the cars of the big teams with Lando Norris in 5th, in front of the two Red Bulls, and Carlos Sainz in 7th, inbetween the Austrian team’s drivers.
The wide and abundant escape areas of the Paul Ricard circuit guarantee survivors of the riders, pardoning the mistakes of Grosjean, Hulkenberg and Hamilton, to name a few, and limit the emotions during free practice.
French Grand Prix Friday’s Free Pratice Timesheet
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||29||1’32.049||1.112|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren||27||1’32.432||1.495|
|8||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull||29||1’32.448||1.511|
|9||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||34||1’32.677||1.740|
|11||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||34||1’32.973||2.036|
|13||Alex Albon||Toro Rosso||35||1’33.023||2.086|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||37||1’33.254||2.317|
|16||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||30||1’33.300||2.363|
|18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||32||1’33.884||2.947|