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French GP (2021)

17 Jun - 20 Jun
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The Mercedes-style F1 tweaks helping McLaren push forward

McLaren introduced a fairly substantial update at the French Grand Prix in a bid to help its fight with Ferrari for best of the rest in Formula 1 this year.

Red Bull: France F1 win disproves rear wing and tyre ‘accusations’ French GP
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Red Bull: France F1 win disproves rear wing and tyre ‘accusations’

Red Bull Formula 1 chief Christian Horner felt Max Verstappen’s victory in France answered the recent “accusations” made against the team about flexi-wings and tyre pressures.

Prost: Alonso back to his best after F1 absence

Four-time world champion and Alpine Formula 1 team advisor Alain Prost believes that Fernando Alonso is back to his best after his two-year break.

Hamilton: Defending harder against Verstappen was "pointless"

Lewis Hamilton says it would have been “pointless to defend any harder” against Max Verstappen in the Red Bull Formula 1 driver’s race-winning pass at the French Grand Prix.

Can Red Bull really win anywhere now it’s toppled a Mercedes F1 stronghold?

OPINION: Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reckoned Max Verstappen winning the French Grand Prix – an event where Mercedes had previously been dominant – would signal “we can beat them anywhere”. Here’s how that claim stacks up looking at the rest of the 2021 season

Red Bull baffled by Mercedes F1 engine comments

Red Bull does not know why Formula 1 rival Mercedes thinks its straightline speed advantage at the French Grand Prix was down to a step forward with its Honda engine.

Aston hopes French GP result silences F1 cheating accusations

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer hopes that the French GP will put a stop to suggestions that the Silverstone outfit was not following Pirelli's Formula 1 tyre prescriptions.

The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1

The French Grand Prix offered a surprisingly interesting spectacle, despite the headache-inducing nature of the circuit. But IndyCar's Road America race offered far more in terms of action - and the increased jeopardy at the Elkhart Lake venue might be something Paul Ricard needs in future...

Why the FIA rejected calls to ditch Paul Ricard sausage kerbs

Formula 1's new feature of offering snapshots of radio messages between teams on the pitwall and race control has been a fascinating addition for fans.

Why Verstappen wasn't punished for breaching F1 track limits protocol

Max Verstappen's hopes of winning Formula 1's French Grand Prix appeared to suffer an early blow when he ran wide at the opening corner.

Gasly defends "hard racing" after Norris F1 criticism

AlphaTauri Formula 1 driver Pierre Gasly has defended his aggressive move on Lando Norris in France, which angered the McLaren driver.

What caused Ferrari’s French GP nightmare

Ferrari slumped to its first non-score of the 2021 Formula 1 season at the French Grand Prix, in a race Charles Leclerc labelled one the most difficult of his career.

Red Bull: "Ballsy" F1 strategy call was payback for Spanish GP French GP
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Red Bull: "Ballsy" F1 strategy call was payback for Spanish GP

Red Bull says its "ballsy" call to sacrifice the lead and switch to a two-stop strategy to win Formula 1's French Grand Prix was payback for its Spanish GP defeat.

Wolff welcomes Bottas’ feistiness over Mercedes F1 team radio

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff welcomed Valtteri Bottas’s feisty radio messages during Sunday’s French Grand Prix, saying he was glad the Finn didn’t “internalise” his feelings.

Ten things we learned from F1's 2021 French GP

After a first corner error dropped him behind Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen delivered a textbook drive to his third victory of the season and extend his points lead. Motorsport.com assesses the weekend's talking points, as two of Formula 1's grandee teams experienced differing fortunes on the series' return to permanent race tracks

How Perez derailed Mercedes' F1 strategy and fastest lap bid

Toto Wolff has explained how Sergio Perez made a two-stop strategy a "danger" for Mercedes in Sunday's Formula 1 French Grand Prix, impacting the fight against Max Verstappen.

Mercedes can't account for 0.5s lost in F1 undercut to Verstappen French GP
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Mercedes can't account for 0.5s lost in F1 undercut to Verstappen

Mercedes still cannot account for half a second of the time Lewis Hamilton lost in the pits when Max Verstappen got the jump in Sunday’s Formula 1 French Grand Prix.

Russell: 12th on merit my best drive for Williams

George Russell labelled his drive to 12th position "on merit" in the French Grand Prix as his best drive for Williams in Formula 1.

French Grand Prix driver ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

FIA explains why Perez escaped track limits penalty

The FIA has explained why Sergio Perez was allowed to keep his third place position in Formula 1’s French Grand Prix despite appearing to have run wide after his late race overtaking move on Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes had "no choice" but to pit Bottas first in French GP French GP
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Mercedes had "no choice" but to pit Bottas first in French GP

Mercedes had "no choice" but to pit Valtteri Bottas first and spark the early stops that ultimately cost Lewis Hamilton in his fight against Formula 1 rival Max Verstappen.

Bottas believes his angry radio message didn't go too far

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas believes he didn't go too far with his angry team radio message during the French Grand Prix, in which he slammed the team's one-stop strategy.

Verstappen: Radio issues didn't make France win more complicated French GP
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Verstappen: Radio issues didn't make France win more complicated

Max Verstappen says his late French Grand Prix team radio problems did not make his Formula 1 victory at Paul Ricard more complicated, as they occurred after his final pitstop. 

Sainz: Ferrari's tyre degradation twice as bad as F1 rivals'

Carlos Sainz says Ferrari must work to understand its tyre struggles in Sunday’s Formula 1 French Grand Prix, believing his degradation was twice as bad as the cars around him.

Hamilton says sticking to one-stop strategy was his "only option" French GP
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Hamilton says sticking to one-stop strategy was his "only option"

Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes had no choice but to stick to a one-stop strategy to try and beat Formula 1 title rival Max Verstappen in Sunday's French Grand Prix.

Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins F1 French GP French GP
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Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins F1 French GP

Max Verstappen won the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard for Red Bull Racing on Sunday, the seventh race of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season, after a thrilling dice with Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.

French GP: Verstappen passes Hamilton to win after start error French GP
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French GP: Verstappen passes Hamilton to win after start error

Max Verstappen made a penultimate lap pass to beat Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1's 2021 French Grand Prix, with an aggressive and unexpected two-stop strategy key to his victory.

The French GP as it happened

Follow all the action from the French Grand Prix as it happens with our minute-by-minute coverage.

Verstappen "still not happy" with Pirelli tyre failures explanation

Max Verstappen says he remains unhappy with Pirelli’s explanation of the Baku tyre failures as he does not “think it’s fully clear” for Formula 1 fans.

Alonso: Lack of trend makes finding race pace answer hard

Fernando Alonso says the lack of a clear trend about Alpine's race pace struggles means he cannot be sure yet if the Formula 1 team has got on top of its issues.

Horner: Red Bull can beat Mercedes anywhere if it wins in France

Christian Horner believes that Red Bull will be able to beat Mercedes anywhere if it can win Sunday’s Formula 1 French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard.

How Mercedes' chassis change sparked a baseless F1 conspiracy theory

When news emerged on Thursday that Mercedes had swapped its drivers' chassis ahead of this weekend's French Grand Prix, Formula 1 found itself hurtling towards its latest wild conspiracy theory.

Hamilton: Red Bull has eked ahead in F1 title battle

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton reckons Red Bull has “eked out a little bit further forwards” in the performance battle of Formula 1 2021’s title fight, compared to May’s Spanish Grand Prix. 

Formula 1 French Grand Prix – How to watch, start time & more

Formula 1 travels to Paul Ricard this weekend for the French Grand Prix. Here's how and when you can watch the race.

Verstappen: Red Bull didn't expect to be this good at Paul Ricard French GP
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Verstappen: Red Bull didn't expect to be this good at Paul Ricard

French Grand Prix polesitter Max Verstappen did not expect Red Bull to score such a strong Formula 1 qualifying result at Paul Ricard, where it has "traditionally" struggled against Mercedes.

Leclerc explains front-end struggles behind qualifying "disaster" French GP
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Leclerc explains front-end struggles behind qualifying "disaster"

Charles Leclerc says struggles with the front end of his Ferrari Formula 1 car made French Grand Prix qualifying a "disaster” before recovering to seventh on the grid.

Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen on pole for French GP French GP
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Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen on pole for French GP

Max Verstappen took pole position for the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard for Red Bull Racing on Saturday, the seventh round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season.

Mercedes: Low-downforce choice would have been slower for us

Mercedes does not believe that going down the low-downforce route that Red Bull has taken for Formula 1’s French Grand Prix would have helped it do better in qualifying.

Hamilton happy to prove ‘myth’ about Mercedes chassis swap wrong

Lewis Hamilton felt pleased to have disproved any “myth” about Mercedes’ Formula 1 cars after qualifying ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas for Sunday’s French Grand Prix.

French GP: Verstappen beats Hamilton, Bottas to pole French GP
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French GP: Verstappen beats Hamilton, Bottas to pole

Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to pole position for Formula 1's 2021 French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard, with Valtteri Bottas third ahead of Sergio Perez.

French GP qualifying as it happened

Follow all the action from the French Grand Prix as it happens with our minute-by-minute coverage.

French GP: Verstappen fastest by 0.7s in final practice

Red Bull's Max Verstappen beat Valtteri Bottas to the top spot in final practice for Formula 1's 2021 French Grand Prix by 0.747s, with Lewis Hamilton finishing down in fifth.

Mercedes: F1 didn't have level playing field on tyre pressures

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has welcomed the FIA’s tougher checks on tyre pressures, suggesting that there had not been a level playing field in Formula 1 before.

Paul Ricard kerbs unchanged despite F1 teams complaints

No changes have been made to the Paul Ricard kerbs overnight despite Formula 1 teams complaining about damage sustained during practice for the French GP on Friday.

Vettel's detailed feedback behind long F1 debriefs - Aston Martin

Aston Martin says that Sebastian Vettel’s ‘remarkable’ recollection of how his Formula 1 car performs over a lap has triggered more lengthy engineering debriefs this year.

The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past.

French Grand Prix qualifying – Start time, how to watch, channel

Formula 1 travels to Paul Ricard this weekend for the French Grand Prix. Here's how you can watch Saturday's all-important qualifying session.

Mercedes may wait until winter to make Bottas/Russell decision

Mercedes may delay making a decision on its second 2022 Formula 1 seat until the winter, as it weighs up whether to retain Valtteri Bottas or take George Russell.

F1 faces "serious problem" over tyre failures, says Aston Martin

Aston Martin boss Otmar Szafnauer says Formula 1 faces a ‘real and serious’ problem if tyres are failing despite teams following Pirelli’s protocols.

Bottas unsure if improvement coming from F1 chassis change

Valtteri Bottas believes it is "hard to say" if his greater comfort with the Mercedes Formula 1 car at Paul Ricard is down to the chassis swap with Lewis Hamilton.

French GP: Verstappen pips Bottas by 0.008s in FP2 French GP
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French GP: Verstappen pips Bottas by 0.008s in FP2

Max Verstappen topped second practice for Formula 1's 2021 French Grand Prix by 0.008 seconds ahead of Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton at Paul Ricard.

French GP practice as it happened

Follow all the action from the French Grand Prix as it happens with our minute-by-minute coverage.

Alpine: No Mercedes exit clauses in Ocon’s new three-year F1 deal

Alpine boss Laurent Rossi has clarified there are no exit clauses within Esteban Ocon’s new three-year Formula 1 contract that would allow Mercedes to sign him.

French GP: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 ahead of Verstappen in FP1

Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time in opening practice for Formula 1's 2021 French Grand Prix in a Mercedes 1-2 ahead of Lewis Hamilton, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen third.

French GP: Key F1 tech updates, direct from the garages

Join us as we delve into the latest technical developments from the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard, courtesy of Giorgio Piola and Sutton Images.

F1's flexi-wing controversy faces end game in France

Formula 1's focus on tyre pressures has dominated chatter in the build-up to the French Grand Prix, but the weekend is an important one on another technical front.

Pirelli: Red Bull and Aston Martin were running with lower pressures

Red Bull and Aston Martin were running with lower pressures than expected in Formula 1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Pirelli said on Thursday, but did not break any rules.

Perez: O’Ward can race the very best drivers in the world

Sergio Perez believes compatriot Pato O’Ward has the ability “to race against the very best drivers in the world” after his impressive start to the new IndyCar season.

Mercedes makes "short-term fix" to 'magic button' after Baku French GP
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Mercedes makes "short-term fix" to 'magic button' after Baku

Mercedes has fitted a “shroud” around the ‘magic’ brake bias-altering button on its Formula 1 car’s steering wheel as a “short term” adaptation following Lewis Hamilton’s Baku restart problem.