F1 drivers asked for Paul Ricard chicane to be removed at French GP

Formula 1 drivers asked the FIA to remove the chicane on Paul Ricard's backstraight in order to improve racing at the French Grand Prix

F1 drivers asked for Paul Ricard chicane to be removed at French GP

Several drivers used Friday's drivers' briefing to suggest the current layout would not make for great racing on Sunday.

Changes cannot be made this weekend because the circuit is homologated for F1 with the chicane, and the FIA would need to run simulations of how safety aspects of Turn 10 would be affected by higher approach speeds and teams have brought cars set up for the original layout.

Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley, who tested Porsche's LMP1 car at the circuit without the chicane, said he felt using the full back straight has "a bit more character, and probably history as well".

"A long straight line will potentially create more overtakes," he said.

"I don't think it will happen for tomorrow, but I've tested and raced without the chicane.

"It makes things interesting because it's less downforce with the long straight line, Turn 10 becomes more of a corner, and so does the last sector with less downforce.

"Maybe it's a discussion point for next year. The good news is here there are plenty of options."

Sergio Perez said the drivers wanted to improve the show for fans.

"We asked Charlie [Whiting, FIA race director] about this, to improve the overtaking, to improve the show, and make it more interesting," said Perez.

"The best race we've had up to now this year has been in Baku, and all the tracks should be taking some direction from that.

"The circuit is challenging, it pushes the drivers for mistakes."

The pit entry and exit also came in for some criticism in the drivers' briefing.

Concerns over the first has already led to a reduction in the speed limit from 80km/h to 60km/h, as Whiting felt that a driver losing control might spin into the Mercedes pit area.

Friday pacesetter Lewis Hamilton said it was hard to find reference points around the track, and possible to lose track of certain parts of the lap because of the painted run-off areas.

"There's a lot of different lines you can take and it's tricky to find reference points out on the track," said the Mercedes driver.

"It's difficult to tell where you are. There's a couple of places, for example on the back straight where you're trying to find out where the corner is."

Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg felt that problem went away after a few laps.

"A lot of the corners are kind of blind," said Hulkenberg.

"You have so many different track layouts and all these colours alongside the track.

"But after a couple of laps you are getting it."

Ricciardo added: "It's kind of open, you can get lost with all those blue and red lines, but the layout was more fun than I thought."

shares
comments
Brendon Hartley fears F1 penalty after Honda problem

Previous article

Brendon Hartley fears F1 penalty after Honda problem

Next article

FIA will investigate why Sergio Perez lost a wheel in F1 practice

FIA will investigate why Sergio Perez lost a wheel in F1 practice
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Stuart Codling
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021