The F1 season heads into round 12, the first race in the second half of the season, with this weekend’s French Grand Prix.
Ferrari comes in on a two-race winning streak and looks to keep the pressure on Red Bull in the 2022 Constructor Standings (team standings), while Red Bull is looking to expand their 56-point lead with a second straight win in the French Grand Prix.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will also be hoping to get back on top of the podium after watching Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc win in Austria and close the gap in the Drivers standings.
Verstappen remains in first place, holding a 38-point lead over Leclerc, who has passed Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to get back into second place. Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz sits in fourth, just five points ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell.
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However, the big story in France is that this is Lewis Hamilton’s 300th career race. The seven-time world champion holds the F1 record with 103 victories and 103 poles and also shares two records with fellow great Michael Schumacher. They both have seven world titles and won at least one race in 15 straight seasons.
Lewis Hamiton has yet to win a race this season, so if he hopes to beat Schumacher and hold the record of one race win in 16 straight seasons, he’ll need to get cracking soon.
The good news for Hamilton is that he is inching closer to a first-place finish after three straight podium finishes since Mercedes ironed out ongoing issues with bouncing. Hamilton also looked good in practice so far this weekend, finishing fifth-fastest behind Mercedes teammate George Russell in the second practice.
Circuit Paul Ricard has 15 corners with two DRS zones to help with overtaking. The circuit has a mix of slow and high-speed corners and also has some long straights, which allows it to usually be a one-stop circuit. However, there could be some high heat this weekend (97 degrees Fahrenheit) that could lead to another stop due to tire degradation.
Another talking point for the race is that a few teams are said to be bringing some major car updates ahead of the French Grand Prix. Alpha Tauri is making its first big adjustment to the floor body to “increase the amount of aerodynamic load.” The team is making a host of other changes that they hope will prevent them from slipping to the back of the middle, as they have in recent weeks.
Williams will also fit Nicholas’ Latifi car with the same upgrades that Alexander Albon has been working with over the last few weeks. Not sure that will keep Latifi out of the bottom, but who knows. Mercedes will also bring a few smaller upgrades, which could help keep Hamilton in the podium conversation.
Lastly, the potential heat we could see on Sunday should raise some concerns for Ferrari, which has had some issues with the engine over-heating in some of the warmer races this season. That’s yet another concern for Ferrari, which will also see driver Carlos Sainz take a 10-place grid penalty on Sunday after exceeding his quota for power unit component changes during the season.
The 10-place penalty is just a start as it’s reported that, “Ferrari may opt to add more fresh components and incur further penalties later in the weekend.” Further penalties would push Sainz back even more on the grid and be good news for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell’s chances of finishing on the podium.
French Grand Prix TV, how to watch
- Date: Saturday, July 23
- Time: 10:00 a.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
- Date: Sunday, July 24th
- Time: 9:00 a.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
For more F1 Coverage, visit amNY Sports
2022 French Grand Prix Odds
|Driver||Odds to Win||Odds to Finish Top Three||Odds to Finish Top Six||Odds to Finish Top 10|
Odds for French Grand Prix courtesy of DraftKings. For more, click here.
French Grand Prix Top Picks
Max Verstappen to win (+125)
I just can’t bet against Verstappen here. For starters, he leads the Drivers Standings and is the best driver on the circuit in many respects. He’s also ultra-competitive, so losing two races in a row is not going to sit well with him. I think he’s going to come out gunning for that top spot with even more aggression. I also have some concerns about the Ferrari cars on a really hot track. It just hasn’t worked out well this year, so I can’t pay the same amount for Leclerc rather than what feels like a discount for Verstappen.
If you do choose to bet this, the +125 odds means that, if you bet $100, you will see a $125 profit if Verstappen were to win.
Pierre Gasly finishes top 10 (-150)
We mentioned above that Alpha Tauri will be bringing major upgrades to the French Grand Prix, which is good news for Gasly in his home race. He’s a talented enough driver that, in an upgraded car, he could really be pushing for a top-six finish, so I’m being a bit conservative here, especially with Gasly finishing 7th fastest in practice on Friday.
Gasly’s -150 odds for top 10 mean that you need to bet $150 to see a $100 profit, but if you wanted to be riskier and bet him +330 to finish top six that means that betting $100 would land you a $330 profit if he accomplishes the feat. The payout is larger because, obviously, the result is less likely.
French Grand Prix Darkhorse Pick
Lewis Hamilton to finish on the podium (+100)
As we mentioned above, Hamilton has been in really good form of late. He seems to have adjusted well to the upgrades to the Mercedes car and is showing better pace of late. He still doesn’t have the pace that Ferrari and Red Bull do, but he’s now hanging around most races. With Carlos Sainz being penalized on the grid, I think it opens up a chance for Hamilton to push onto the podium again. Although, the Mercedes didn’t look great at Friday practice, which is a bit of a concern.
Kevin Magnussen finishes top 10 (+170)
Kevin Magnussen is another driver that has been flirting with the top ten in recent races. Haas has brought a few upgrades in recent weeks and while they aren’t rumored to have any new ones before the French Grand Prix, the previous changes have resulted in more competitive results. Magnussen was also 8th fastest in practice on Friday, which makes us feel a bit better about him remaining in front of Daniel Ricciardo and Valterri Bottas and other drivers he’ll have to beat to earn this finish.