After two poor races, Mercedes will be happier than anyone to bid farewell to street circuits and head to Paul Ricard.
In both Monaco and Baku, the German team lost ground to Red Bull, with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez each tasting victory while neither Lewis Hamilton nor Valtteri Bottas even finished inside the top five.
For the sake of both titles, they need to get back to winning ways quickly, and given that they’ve won both editions of the French Grand Prix since it returned to the calendar, they’ll fancy their chances of doing so.
Here is everything you need to know ahead of the 2021 French Grand Prix…
When is the 2021 French Grand Prix?
Practice 1: Friday June 18, 1130-1230 local time (1030-1130 UK time)
Practice 2: Friday June 18, 1500-1600 local time (1400-1500 UK time)
Practice 3: Saturday June 19, 1200-1300 local time (1100-1200 UK time)
Qualifying: Saturday June 19, 1500 local time (1400 UK time)
Race: Sunday June 6, 1500 local time (1400 UK time)
Where does the 2021 French Grand Prix take place?
Paul Ricard opened in 1970 and returned to the Formula 1 calendar in 2018 after not featuring since Alain Prost’s victory back in 1990.
The circuit is located in the small commune of Le Castellet in South-East France, which has a population of just under 4,000 people.
It has FIA Grade 1 listing, but in order to achieve that when it returned, it had to comply with the modern rules, meaning that F1 cars race on the 5.8km version of the track that features a chicane on the north side of the Mistral Straight.
There are a number of possible layouts that the track could use – 167 to be precise – and many would like to see them try another, feeling that the current one doesn’t exactly produce the best racing.
While that may be the case, it does still feature some high-speed sweeping sections, and a number of areas have been resurfaced and reprofiled with the aim of increasing overtaking opportunities.
Where can I watch the 2021 French Grand Prix?
Pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports will show the entire race weekend on its dedicated Sky Sports F1 channel. You can also access a live stream of the coverage via Now TV.
Free-to-air broadcaster Channel 4 will show extended highlights from qualifying and the race.
You can follow all the action from France on F1 TV Pro if it’s available in your country and you get a subscription. To see if you can get it where you are, check here.
As always, PlanetF1 will provide live timing and expert commentary throughout every session of the weekend, while those subscribed to the official F1 app can listen to radio commentary and access live date there.
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix will be shown live on TV on the following outlets in other key markets:
United States: ESPN
Canada: RDS (French), TSN (English)
Australia: Fox Sports
Italy: Sky Sport F1
Germany: Sky Sport F1
Netherlands: Ziggo Sport
Click here for a full breakdown of where you can watch live Formula 1 action around the world.
What are the odds for the 2021 French Grand Prix?
Max Verstappen has moved to odds-on favourite to win the French Grand Prix after clinching pole position at the Paul Ricard circuit.
Max Verstappen 5/6
Lewis Hamilton 7/4
Valtteri Bottas 13/2
Sergio Pérez 14/1
Carlos Sainz 66/1
Odds from Planet Sport Bet
(Last updated Saturday June 18)
Bet on the French Grand Prix with Planet Sport Bet and we will match your first bet up to the value of £50! Use code PS100
What is the starting grid for the 2021 French Grand Prix?
Max Verstappen bagged his first pole position since the opening race of the season but has both Mercedes cars for company off the starting line on race day. Sergio Perez will be looking to provide support for Red Bull in P4.
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari
6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari
8 Lando Norris McLaren
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine
10 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine
12 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo
14 George Russell Williams
15 Mick Schumacher Haas
16 Nicholas Latifi Williams
17 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo
18 Nikita Mazepin Haas
19 Lance Stroll Aston Martin
20 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri
What is the weather forecast for the 2021 French Grand Prix?
Friday June 18: 24c, sunny
Saturday June 19: 24c, cloudy
Sunday June 20: 25c, cloudy
Directions to the French Grand Prix
If you’re planning to travel to the race by air and can’t fly or get your hands on a private jet, your best bet is getting a flight to Marseille, which is the closest major airport, around 65km from the circuit.
Once on French soil, you can hire a car and drive to the track. There is a park and ride facility in nearby La Ciotat, and from there, free buses to the circuit are available.
Taking the train is another option. If you do so, go to Bandol or St Cyr Les Lecques La Cadiere. From either of those stations, you can get a taxi to the race venue.
There is also a daily bus service that connects the circuit with >Nice, Toulon, Marseille and Aix-en-Provence.
Which drivers have won the French Grand Prix?
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) July 21, 2020
Since the race returned to the calendar, Lewis Hamilton has dominated it, winning in both 2018 and 2019, and in a somewhat comfortable fashion too.
His victories put him level with a number of greats including Niki Lauda and Jim Clark on two French Grand Prix wins, but seven drivers have triumphed even more often than that.
Micahel Schumacher is the most successful driver ever there, winning a whopping eight times between 1994 and 2006 and taking back-to-back victories on three occasions. All of his wins came at Magny-Cours rather than Paul Ricard.
Next up is Alain Prost, who stood on the top step of the podium at his home race a total of six times, doing so three years in a row at Paul Ricard from 1988 to 1990. His first-ever F1 win came at the 1981 edition in Dijon.
Louis Chiron (5), Juan Manuel Fangio (4), Nigel Mansell (4), Jack Brabham (3) and Jackie Stewart are the others to have won the French Grand Prix more than twice.
Tyre choices for the 2021 French Grand Prix
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) June 14, 2021
As they did last time F1 raced at the circuit, Pirelli have chosen the middle three compounds in their range for the French Grand Prix.
The C2 tyre will be the hard compound, C3 the medium and C4 the soft.
What are the latest F1 Championship standings?
Max Verstappen – 105 points
Lewis Hamilton – 101 points
Sergio Perez – 69 points
Lando Norris – 66 points
Charles Leclerc – 52 points
Red Bull – 174 points
Mercedes – 148 points
Ferrari – 94 points
McLaren – 92 points