“I think the reason why the races are less entertaining is that the performance gap between the teams is just too big,” said team boss Toto Wolff after the sprint race in Spielberg. “If (Max; d. Red.) Verstappen disappears in the distance, the two Ferraris are the only entertainment during the race, and then we are in the middle of nowhere in no man’s land.”
This in turn is the basis for a comprehensive update package this weekend in Le Castellet. The obvious prelude is a larger opening at the tip of the nose, which is almost reminiscent of a BMW kidney. Other innovations should be less conspicuous, but effective. Above all against the dreaded porpoising, the jumping of the cars.
They have to, because without a win by Lewis Hamilton, a record run threatens to end in 2022: There has not been a season in the last 30 years in which either Michael Schumacher or Hamilton have not won at least one race.
This weekend at the French GP there is also an anniversary for the British Mercedes superstar. Hamilton drives his 300 Grand Prix and is only the sixth Formula 1 driver to achieve this record. With 349 GP, Kimi Raikkonen tops the list with the most races.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes superstar voluntarily foregoes the first free practice session. Formula E Champion Nyck de Vries gets his chance during one of two free practice sessions where the teams have to field a rookie.