The Circuit Paul Ricard – venue of the French Grand Prix weekend, Round 8 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship – provides both teams and drivers with a very different challenge to the past two races, which have been held on narrow tracks, with walls in very close proximity to the cars. There has most likely been a little more experimentation than normal during practice on different downforce levels in order to obtain the optimal compromise between straightline speed down the three long full throttle zones and performance in the multiple high-radius corners. This circuit is quite top speed and power dependent, something which one can garner from looking at the track map, favouring a downforce level more akin to that run in Canada than Monaco.
That is certainly not the case in France, where large run-off areas dominate the track perimeter. Additionally, all personnel involved have been faced with the prospect of an almost new circuit on which very limited data is available.
Follow us later in the afternoon for the latest updates and results from the Circuit Paul Ricard, as the qualifying session for the 2019 French Grand Prix is about to get underway, with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc at the wheel of the SF90, ready to challenge Mercedes and Red Bull for pole position ahead of the race on Sunday.