Race start time | France GP F1 2022
Race schedule | French GP 2022
F1 2022 France GP: Le Castellet – Paul Ricard
Porpoising and flat bottom: 6 teams against FIA and Mercedes
The TD039 of Discord. After what happened in Azerbaijan, where the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell showed serious porpoising problems, the FIA moved to stem the excessive jolts, looking for ways of intervention after consulting medical specialists who confirmed the need to do something to preserve the health of the pilots. By asking the question of safety, the Federation can intervene on the regulation hands-free, without having to ask for the usual qualified majority (at least 7 teams) to change the rules during the current season. Hence the introduction of a vertical oscillation measurement metric, but not only, because federal technicians have discovered that some flat bottoms would flex more than others and this aspect would just mitigate the porpoising suffered by the stables that use them. Although these cars have passed the technical checks without problems, the Federation has decided to be more stringent on the subject, announcing solutions for stiffening the flat bottom and greater attention to controlling its wear. The technical directive was supposed to come into effect first in Canada and then in France, but its application was eventually moved to after the summer break, on the weekend of 28 August at the Belgian GP.
The two sides. Two distinct blocks seemed immediately evident, between which big words seem to have flown in recent meetings. On the one hand Red Bull and Ferrari – put on the index precisely because of the flexible flat bottom issue – and on the other Mercedes, which pushed for the introduction of the TD039 as soon as possible. But the sides would have been much more nourished, with all the teams taking their own position in the meetings. One line-up saw on the barricades of the figurative resistance Ferrari, Red Bull and their respective customer teams or Haas, Alfa Romeo and Alpha Tauri, but not only, because Williams (powered by Mercedes) would also join the protest for the regulatory change, leading to 6 the ‘no’ front. As reported by the edition of 16 July by Corriere dello Sport, there were therefore 4 teams that lined up in the opposite field and in favor of the intervention of the FIA: in addition to Mercedes, also customers McLaren and Aston Martin, and Renault.
The majority of the teams would therefore have pushed not to introduce the TD039 already this season, but 60% of the potential votes had no weight in the face of the safety issue posed by the FIA. In fact, he went straight on his way, as confirmed by the recent Technical Committee which reiterated the introduction of the regulatory change already by Spa-Francorchamps.
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COMPOUNDS NOMINATED FOR F1 2022 France GP – Le Castellet
THE TYRES ON TRACK
- The P Zero White hard is the C2 compound, the P Zero Yellow medium the C3, the P Zero Red soft is the C4: these are the three tyres nominated for the French Grand Prix this weekend for Paul Ricard.
- The France F1 Grand Prix venue is a quite well-balanced circuit, where there is a bit of everything: fast corners and flat-out straights as well as slower and more technical sections. All of that is placing medium-severity energy loads on the tyres, which is why it makes a good test track. At 12 metres wide, there are plenty of options when it comes to lines and overtaking: all providing an interesting challenge for the drivers.
- The Mistral straight – named after the famous French wind, which can also disrupt the aerodynamic balance of the cars – also has the potential to cool the front tyres down. This can affect the turn-in at Signes immediately afterwards: the most demanding corner of the entire circuit, taken flat-out.
- Going off the track is definitely to be avoided: the distinct red, white, and blue tricolour markings contain a high-friction material designed to slow cars down quickly, with high risk to flat spot the tyres.
- Last year’s winning strategy was a two-stopper from Max Verstappen. It was a gamble as he was the only frontrunner to stop twice, with those behind him stopping just once, but it paid off as the Red Bull driver took the lead again a lap before the chequered flag.
“This year’s French Grand Prix takes place nearly a month later than it did last year, when it rained on Sunday morning, so it’s fair to expect warmer temperatures. This year’s generation of tyres and compounds is different and more resistant to overheating than the 13-inch versions used last year, so we’ll have to see how that affects the strategy. A bit of history: Paul Ricard was actually where our 18-inch tyres for the current era made their debut, at a test with Renault and Sergey Sirotkin back in 2019.”
RACE START TIME SCHEDULE – F1 FRANCE GP (UTC+1)
Friday 22th July:
- Free Practice 1 14:00-15:00
- Free Practisice 2 17:00-18:00
Saturday 23th July:
- Free Practisice 3 13:00-14:00
- Qualifying 16:00-17:00
Sunday 24th July:
- Race 15:00-17:00