The French Grand Prix might signify Mercedes’ finest probability of a victory this season; watch the French GP this weekend, with all classes dwell on Sky Sports activities F1; full schedule at backside of article – qualifying on Saturday at 3pm, race on Sunday at 2pm
Final Up to date: 20/07/22 1:08pm
Anthony Davidson believes Mercedes ought to have the tempo to compete with Crimson Bull and Ferrari for victory at this weekend’s French Grand Prix.
After a vastly disappointing begin to the season following the introduction of recent design laws for the 2022 marketing campaign, the eight-time reigning constructors’ champions have lastly appeared to start to shut the hole to their rivals.
The Silver Arrows managed simply three podiums within the first seven races of the season, however have now secured 4 in a row, with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton third in every of the final three rounds.
It was solely at a kind of three races, the British GP, the place Hamilton had the tempo to compete for victory, and with Marseille’s Circuit Paul Ricard possessing comparable traits to Silverstone, there may be optimism that Mercedes might be in with an opportunity of a primary victory this season.
Former F1 driver Davidson instructed Sky Sports activities Information: “It is undoubtedly an extended shot, however I feel if there’s any circuit you could possibly select from this season, it will have been Silverstone and Paul Ricard, the place Mercedes would have an opportunity to combine it with the highest two groups – Crimson Bull and Ferrari – on real tempo.
The very best of the motion from an epic Austrian Grand Prix as Charles Leclerc took the win.
“Coming off the again of Austria, the place they’d a superb stable race – sadly qualifying did not actually go their manner with each vehicles crashing out – however the tempo appeared fairly good. Not on the identical degree as Crimson Bull and Ferrari, however historically that is been fairly a weak circuit for them.
“Taking into consideration what we noticed at Silverstone, actually sturdy race tempo there, Paul Ricard – a pleasant clean circuit which ought to swimsuit the automobile, excessive grip state of affairs as effectively, excessive degradation on the tyres, all of those parts coming collectively for Mercedes ought to imply, by rights, that the automobile ought to be in its joyful place.”
‘Hamilton discovering his stride’
Hamilton’s three successive podium finishes has seen him scale back the factors hole to team-mate George Russell, who has made a vastly spectacular begin to his debut marketing campaign with Mercedes.
Russell completed forward of Hamilton in seven of the primary eight races, however the hole between them is right down to 19 factors going into the twelfth spherical of the championship.
Lewis Hamilton was pleased with Mercedes’ efforts after securing a third-place end following a tough begin to the weekend in Austria.
Davidson has been impressed by Russell’s performances, however believes an enhancing Mercedes will carry the perfect out of Hamilton.
“George is driving a superb season thus far, only some hiccups, however that is what you count on in a primary season at a prime staff,” Davidson stated. “There’s loads of stress there for George and he is studying from the grasp, is not he? What a privileged place to be in for George.
“I did count on him to have the uncooked tempo right away. We noticed that at Williams, he all the time shone by way of, significantly in qualifying. He was labelled Mr Saturday for fairly a while, I feel that label has gone now as a result of he is proving himself in the course of the race days.
George Russell was annoyed after a primary lap collision with Sergio Perez resulted in a five-second time penalty and injury to his automobile on the Austrian GP.
“It is undoubtedly raised an eyebrow from Lewis I feel, seeing George’s strategy to this season and the way he is tailored so effectively to those new vehicles. However now that the automobile is turning into extra acquainted to the automobile that Lewis drove final yr and the years earlier than, I really feel like that he is now coming into his stride a bit extra they usually’re not making an attempt so many drastic modifications to the automobile.
“I really feel like now they’re narrowing down on the place they must be and never going so exterior of the window of setup choices, I really feel like Lewis is now getting extra into his stride and beginning within the final couple of races to essentially present his high quality once more.
De Vries to exchange Hamilton in FP1
Hamilton can have one much less session to fine-tune his efficiency at Le Castellet after it was confirmed that Nyck de Vries will take his seat for Friday’s opening observe session.
The 27-year-old Dutch driver is making his second FP1 outing of the season having taken the wheel of Alex Albon’s Williams on the Spanish GP in Could.
Mercedes stated that Hamilton had chosen this weekend to fulfil his one of many two younger driver classes that each one groups are required to facilitate in the course of the season.
Mercedes staff principal Toto Wolff stated: “Nyck is changing Lewis in first observe this weekend, as a part of the allotted classes for younger drivers this yr. So, we’re trying ahead to seeing how he will get on.”