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STRATEGY GUIDE: What are the possible race strategies for the 2022 French Grand Prix? | Formula 1®

The closing double-header earlier than the mid-season break kicks off with what is predicted to be a scorching race at Paul Ricard, so let’s check out the totally different strategic choices obtainable to the groups in France…

What’s the quickest technique?

Last day trip in Austria, the one-stop gave the impression to be the quickest approach to run the race in clear air, however that plan was hindered by in a single day rain that left a inexperienced observe after which Ferrari pushing the tempo to pressure Red Bull right into a two-stopper.

And this week we’ve received an analogous state of affairs the place the one-stop is theoretically quickest – nevertheless it’s removed from excellent.

READ MORE: Sainz tows Leclerc to first French Grand Prix pole as Verstappen qualifies second

High ranges of degradation imply there will probably be some tyre administration wanted however the important thing level that has led to a one-stopper being a powerful choice at this stage is the pit lane. The exit level has been prolonged by roughly 90 metres, that means drivers are on the pit lane limiter for extra time and due to this fact taking longer to get by means of the pits, and that’s accentuated by the velocity restrict being dropped to 60 kilometres an hour, including additional time.

So a inexperienced flag pit cease now prices drivers round 27 seconds and can imply they wish to keep away from making two stops if doable, so the quickest path to the tip on common is a one-stopper beginning on the medium tyre. The gentle compound is just not a tyre that’s significantly helpful for the opening stint, however the medium permits drivers to run to a pit window between Lap 18 and Lap 27 earlier than switching to the hards and working to the tip.

There will probably be some tyre administration concerned because of the anticipated excessive observe temperatures, however the onerous is a compound that ought to see groups by means of to the tip of the race in the event that they go for this technique and don’t endure extreme degradation.


How a couple of totally different choice for the highest 10?

As we noticed final day trip on the Red Bull Ring, generally the tempo from a chasing automobile can pressure a driver to take extra out of their tyres, or a workforce may be struggling to take care of their Pirellis slightly bit extra basically, so there are positively two-stop choices that may come into play.

There are two potential methods which can be more likely to come to the fore for groups which can be unable to make the one-stopper work, and each of them contain beginning on the medium tyre and working an analogous variety of laps earlier than the primary pit cease. With a gap pit window between Lap 13 and Lap 20, there’s a number of variation to permit drivers to have an aggressive first stint if wanted, after which in each methods change to the onerous compound for the center stint.

READ MORE: Red Bull’s double threat, Sainz on a charge, and Norris in the mix – What To Watch For in the French GP

But that is the place the 2 decisions diverge, and all of it depends upon the tyre compounds {that a} driver has left obtainable for the race.

For any driver with two units of mediums obtainable – that’s Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi – then the center stint must take them as much as at the very least Lap 34 (however ideally nearer to Lap 40) earlier than they’ll return to the mediums for the ultimate stint. Doing this additionally opens up the opportunity of extending that second stint to the tip of the race so long as the opening stint wasn’t too quick.

For the remainder of the drivers with two units of onerous tyres obtainable – Red Bull, Mercedes, Alpine, Alfa Romeo, Haas and Lando Norris – then you definately’ve most likely guessed the ultimate stint will probably be on the onerous compound. That leaves them a pit window of between Lap 31 and 37 to make the second cease, though it could possibly be a wider one given the lifetime of the onerous tyre.


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What are the choices for the underside half of the sector?

If you’ve been doing a little bit of including up you’ll have observed that not each driver is included within the above eventualities. That’s as a result of Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll all solely have one set of medium and one set of onerous tyres obtainable.

That mechanically limits what their choices are for the race, however there’s a totally different approach of working the one-stopper talked about earlier on. To try to make the most of potential alternatives, the onerous tyre could possibly be used for an extended first stint. As the onerous tyre in Paul Ricard is Pirelli’s C2 compound, it’s not having any points with warm-up within the excessive temperatures however can nonetheless be managed for an prolonged stint.

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The pit window could be between Lap 28 and Lap 35 – with a give attention to attempting to go so long as doable – earlier than switching to medium tyres to the tip of the race.

If, nevertheless, any of these three drivers (or anybody else who desires to attempt that technique) struggles within the closing levels, then a brief stint of round 10 laps on the gentle tyre could possibly be thought-about because the observe cools later within the afternoon and the gasoline burns off, nevertheless it’s a danger as that compound has been liable to overheating throughout this weekend and wishes cool-down laps.


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Wait, however what’s the climate doing?

It’s a fairly easy climate forecast for the groups for the race, and it’s additionally a well-recognized one because the Grand Prix is ready to see very comparable circumstances to qualifying. That means excessive temperatures _ within the low-to-mid 30s when it comes to Celsius _ and no danger of rain.

The solar brings the observe temperature up rapidly too, and the tarmac could possibly be touching 60C early on, which is able to play a component in having to stop the tyres from overheating and and all however guidelines out the gentle compound for the primary stint.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from a dramatic qualifying session at the French Grand Prix

While the gentle tyre can nonetheless ship fast lap instances if cooled down between push laps, drivers don’t have that luxurious to drop their tempo considerably in a racing state of affairs.


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There had been hints in qualifying that the wind may also play an element at Paul Ricard, and even when it isn’t sturdy its course could possibly be vital.

A tailwind on the again straight into the chicane and on the run to Signes will make the DRS impact much less distinguished and overtaking tougher, though it’s going to additionally make braking extra of a problem.

That’s the course the wind is predicted to be coming from, however the flip facet is that may make it a headwind into Turn 1 and will assist the DRS on that a part of that observe, in addition to enhance the slipstream impact and supply alternatives right here.

WATCH: Ride onboard for Charles Leclerc’s pole-winning lap at Circuit Paul Ricard

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