Promoted: French Grand Prix Preview with Esso Synergy Fuel
Formula 1 will descend on the French Riviera on the 21-23 June for the eighth round of the world championship. After a break of ten years, the French Grand Prix returned to the calendar in 2018 with the action taking place at the famous Circuit Paul Ricard.
The track was built in 1970 and regularly hosted F1 races for two decades. But after a period of decline, Paul Ricard was rebuilt as a high-speed test track and in 2009 was re-opened to the public.
The new circuit featured modified corners and innovative alternatives to gravel traps, with large runoff areas featuring abrasive blue lines which helped to slow cars down, setting new standards in safety.
The Formula 1 layout measures 3.6 miles, making it one of the longest of the year. The characteristic of long straights and tight corners, ensures a technical challenge for drivers, while providing fans with ample overtaking opportunities.
“Every time we go to a track that has had a good history of racing, it’s great for the fans and I think they’ll be a fantastic crowd too,” says David Tsurusaki, Global Motorsport Technology Manager, ExxonMobil.
The first sector of the lap is characterised by a series of technical corners, before the drivers blast through the left-hander at Turn 7 and on to the long Mistral straight where speeds build in excess of 211mph.
It’s on this part of the track where the demands are highest from the power unit, which can be enhanced with a powerful blend of race fuel, while also considering the importance of protection and reliability for the engine over a long season.
“Reliability is almost everything for us,” says Tsurusaki. “It’s a combination of the Mobil 1 lubricants and the Esso Synergy race fuel. We need the performance but we need to protect all those internal components because they need to last seven races.”
Turn 10, or the famous Signes corner, is located at the end of the Mistral straight and is one of the quickest turns of the year. With an entry speed taken in eighth gear at 198mph, drivers will be thankful for the plentiful run-off if they make a mistake.
The final sector of the lap features the tricky double apex right-hander at Beausset before the last few corners which return the drivers to the pits and start/finish straight.
The fans will be supporting many of the local drivers at this year’s French Grand Prix, including Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly. He will be looking for a better result in front of his home crowd this year after retiring in 2018 after a collision on the opening lap.
“Hopefully this should give a chance for the Red Bull to shine. We had a podium finish last year with Max taking second place,” says David Tsurusaki, Global Motorsport Technology Manager, ExxonMobil.
“This is Pierre Gasly’s home race, so hopefully we’ll be looking at a double podium this year. I think when Pierre gets to the track and sees his fans wearing Red Bull colours and his number, it will be exciting for him and he’ll be one of the stars of the race weekend.”
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