Lewis Hamilton will look to continue his impressive winning streak as the Formula 1 grid gathers for the French Grand Prix. The controversy continues to rage after Sebastian Vettel lost victory in Canada due to a penalty and Ferrari has indeed appealed that result. But what hasn’t changed is Mercedes remain the dominant force of the 2019 season and that will be the case again at Circuit Paul Ricard.
About the race:
While Britain is often seen as a home of Formula 1, Grand Prix racing originates in France with the first event held in 1906 at Le Mans, the same town which still hosts the legendary 24-hour race. And when the F1 championship was created in 1950, the French Grand Prix was part of the original calendar, taking place on the streets of Reims. Until 1965, the race alternated between Reims and Rouen before visiting Charade for the first time and the two venues would only host the Grand Prix one more time each in the years that followed.
Circuit Paul Ricard welcomed the race for the first time in 1971 and would alternate with Dijon before hosting eight of the nine events between 1982 and 1990. It was then, in 1991, that Magny-Cours, the venue more modernly associated with the French GP, would become the new home, enjoying an 18-year stint before dropping off the calendar in 2008.
After a decade away, F1 finally returned last year returning to Paul Ricard for the first time since 1990, with Hamilton dominating the race after Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas collided on Lap 1. The most successful driver in the French Grand Prix’s history is Michael Schumacher with a remarkable eight wins all at Magny-Cours. France’s most successful driver Alain Prost enjoyed six wins at his home race, five of which came at Paul Ricard the circuit that holds the French Grand Prix.
Louis Chiron had five victories in the non-championship era, while Nigel Mansell and Juan Manuel Fangio both had four.
Now though, let’s bring it all back to the present day and look forward to what this weekend’s race might bring and who you should have in your fantasy team.
Top Pick: Mercedes ($32.5m)
While Ferrari might have been back in contention in Canada, anything less than a Mercedes 1-2 in France would be a surprise. The battle might be a little closer than some expect but with Hamilton in good form and Bottas in need of a victory to keep the pressure on in the championship, the Silver Arrows should be simply too strong.
Medium pick: Daniel Ricciardo ($11.4m)
It has been surprising that Ricciardo hasn’t been the automatic medium pick since joining Renault this season, but finally, things are looking up. The Australian was his old self in Canada as the French manufacturer enjoyed their best result of the year and with a substantial car upgrade package coming for the team’s home race, a repeat of P6 is highly possible.
Low pick: Lando Norris ($5.8m)
It has been a tricky few races for Norris but at this price, he is excellent value for your fantasy team. His McLaren remains one of the strongest midfield cars on the grid and when on form, he is more than capable of scoring a solid top 10 in both qualifying and the race.
Valtteri Bottas ($22.2m)
Adding Bottas to accompany Mercedes as the constructor is a smart move as his price still enables you to include some strong midfield drivers to your line-up. He will almost certainly be on the podium providing no repeat of last year’s drama and the Finn also needs a victory after a slightly trickier stretch of results.
Romain Grosjean ($8.2m)
One of the stories this season has been the inconsistency of Haas as their car has strong raw pace but has been unable to optimize the Pirelli tyres. The French Grand Prix takes place at Paul Ricard , a circuit that could better suit their car, however, and with the added motivation of a home race, that could just spur Grosjean to a strong result after a difficult season so far.
That wraps up the Formula 1 preview and picks for this week. The French Grand Prix will be exciting and from everyone at PlayON, best of luck in picking the strongest line-up possible. Create your line-up here.