Having arrived back at their bases after the two American races, the teams had time to regroup and conduct testing before the start of the traditional European mid-season calendar.
This phase of the season started with the French GP at Magny Cours. The French track is a conventional blend of fast and slow corners with reasonable straights.
As a result, the track rewards the cars with better aerodynamics and tyre management. Where the previous three races have been stop/start in nature, the French track gave the teams the faster corners to run more downforce and challenge their tyres.
As with any track, Magny Cours has its idiosyncrasies - the surface is flat and bump-less. This provides little grip when cold and early in the weekend before the rubber is laid down. As a result, the track develops through the weekend and can change quickly; even during a session or stint should the sun be masked behind clouds.