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Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B, leads Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, and Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02
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Opinion

The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1

OPINION: The French Grand Prix offered a surprisingly interesting spectacle, despite the headache-inducing nature of the circuit. But IndyCar's Road America race offered far more in terms of action - and the increased jeopardy at the Elkhart Lake venue might be something Paul Ricard needs in future...

Let’s face it: Paul Ricard is not a particularly good Formula 1 circuit – at least, for modern cars. The finicky nature of the opening sector often relegates the field of drivers into operating in a single file, and although the Signes and Le Beausset corners towards the end of the lap are challenging long-radius corners that reward bravery on the throttle, they also offer a different problem. The much-maligned ‘dirty air’ produced by modern racing cars often forces the car behind to wash out and lose grip, and drivers can only attempt to mount overtakes at both with a significant tyre advantage.

That, and the plethora of abrasive strips lining the circuit’s perimeter are headache-inducing. Ultimately, they’re a legacy of the circuit’s days as a “high-tech test track” - providing a huge safety net for drivers suffering a slight lapse in concentration as they pound around the circuit for hours at a time. Those strips will peel some of the tyres’ best days away from them but, given the run-off apparently extends into the horizon, do so in return for keeping the car out of the wall.

Previous article Schumacher may need to "get his elbows out" in Mazepin F1 fights
Next article Why the FIA rejected calls to ditch Paul Ricard sausage kerbs

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