A lap of Magny-Cours with DC

The French Grand Prix takes place at the Magny-Cours circuit this weekend. David Coulthard retired from the lead with alternator failure last year and will be hoping for better luck this time round. The McLaren driver describes a lap of the Nevers course

A lap of Magny-Cours with DC

"Magny-Cours has got some nice high speed chicanes, and the first couple of corners are very good. You can run lower to the ground than normal because it's smooth, and you're looking for a good balance aerodynamically. The smoothness also makes it easier physically.

"It's a very enjoyable track on which to qualify; as a circuit to drive alone, it is a challenge. However, when you get in someone's dirty air it's hard to overtake, because you lose downforce and can't get close in the corners. The first turn, Grande Courbe, is flat, although it's not easy to take flat when someone goes there for the first time. Then it's down into the Estoril turn, where you go down a couple of gears. It has a very fast entry, and is basically an understeering corner thereafter.

"The run down to Adelaide is very straightforward. It's a very tight hairpin and you brake hard. It's a potential overtaking spot, although everyone is pretty much the same speed now and it's difficult to get a run on someone.

"From there it's up the gears for the run down to the Nurburgring chicane, which is a very high speed chicane, taken in fourth gear. You never really stop turning all the way down to the 180 degree corner, which is a tight lefthander taken in second. It's very difficult to get the balance right there.
"Then you head up the hill to the Imola chicane, which is another very fast chicane, taken in fourth gear. The Chateau d'Eau is a second gear corner. It's fun because you're balancing the car, sliding it all the way out to the exit. Then you drop down to the last chicane, which again is second gear and very tight. There's only one line, and it's off-camber. The last corner onto the pit straight is very tight and slow, again in second gear. It is too tight, doesn't create an overtaking opportunity, and doesn't add anything to the circuit."

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