The 2022 season reaches its twelfth round of 22 as Formula 1 heads to Paul Ricard for the French Grand Prix.
Last time out in Austria, Ferrari provided a timely plot twist in the title race. Championship leader, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, was the class of the field in sprint qualifying, but there was no beating Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc come race day.
With his first win since April’s Australian Grand Prix, Leclerc reduced his deficit to Verstappen slightly to 38 points, but the message that Leclerc is not finished in this title race yet was very much sent.
Nonetheless, even though Ferrari put things right on the strategy front, an engine blowout for Carlos Sainz as he harried Verstappen proved that Ferrari remain vulnerable when it comes to reliability.
Now, it is time to see what Paul Ricard can cook up with the ingredients of pace and reliability.
Here are all the details you need ahead of the 2022 French Grand Prix.
When is the 2022 French Grand Prix?
Friday 22 July
Free Practice 1: 1400-1500 (1300-1400 UK time)
Free Practice 2: 1700-1800 (1600-1700 UK time)
Saturday 23 July
Free Practice 3: 1300-1400 (1200-1300 UK time)
Qualifying: 1600 (1500 UK time)
Sunday 24 July
Race: 1500 (1400 UK time)
Where does the 2022 French Grand Prix take place?
Circuit Paul Ricard, opened in 1970, is no stranger to Formula 1 but, until 2018, it had not been used as a grand prix venue since Alain Prost’s victory back in 1990.
The revamped circuit has FIA Grade 1 listing but in order to achieve that it had to comply with the rules, meaning Formula 1 cars race on the 5.8km version of the track that features a chicane on the north side of the Mistral Straight.
Circuit Paul Ricard is located in the small commune of Le Castellet in South East France. The population is just under 4,000 and the village is surrounded by vineyards.
On seven occasions (1971, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1989 and 2021) the winner at Paul Ricard went on to win the World Championship in the same year.
In fact, Ronnie Peterson (1973 and 1974) and René Arnoux (1982) are the only drivers to win at Paul Ricard who never won the World Championship.
There are a variety of layouts which can be used at Circuit Paul Ricard, but since its return to the F1 calendar in 2018 there have been many critics regarding the quality of racing at the track, although the 2021 Grand Prix saw Max Verstappen chase Lewis Hamilton down in a thrilling conclusion at Le Castellet.
Where can I watch the 2022 French Grand Prix?
UK 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 for a one-off fee.
Free-to-air broadcaster Channel 4 will show extended highlights from qualifying and the race.
F1 TV Pro viewers can watch all the live action from Paul Ricard. Please check to see if F1 TV Pro is available in your country.
Subscribers to F1’s own app can hear radio commentary on the race proper from BBC Radio 5 Live and access live data throughout every session.
PlanetF1 will carry live timing and expert commentary on every session of the race weekend, from FP1 on Friday morning to the race on Sunday afternoon.
The French 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
France: Canal+, C8
Italy: Sky Sport F1, TV8
Germany: Sky Sport F1
Japan: DAZN F1
What are the odds for the 2022 French Grand Prix?
Latest bookmaker information shows that despite lagging behind Charles Leclerc at the Red Bull Ring, Max Verstappen is favourite to bounce back straight away and make it consecutive French Grand Prix victories.
Mercedes’ recent improvement and strong record at Paul Ricard also has had an impact on the odds of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
Here are the latest odds from Planet Sport Bet:
What is the grid for the French Grand Prix?
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull
3 Sergio Perez Red Bull
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
5 Lando Norris McLaren
6 George Russell Mercedes
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine
8 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri
9 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine
11 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo
12 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin
13 Alex Albon Williams
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri
15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin
16 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo
17 Mick Schumacher Haas
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams
19 Carlos Sainz Ferrari
20 Kevin Magnussen Haas
What is the weather forecast for the 2022 French Grand Prix?
Friday 22 July: 35c, sunny
Saturday 23 July: 35c, sunny
Sunday 24 July: 35c, sunny
Directions to the French Grand Prix
Located approximately 40km east of Marseilles, the best way to get to Paul Ricard is by private jet. But for those of us who don’t have such luxuries, many big airlines fly into Marseille Provence, approximately 65km from Paul Ricard, where one can hire a car to get to the circuit.
You can also use the local train service to help get to the race. You can for example take the train to Bandol or St Cyr Les Lecques La Cadiere from Marseille (journey of less than one hour), which leaves you with a manageable taxi ride to the circuit.
After major traffic problems in 2018 when Circuit Paul Ricard returned to the F1 calendar, the biggest new initiative for 2019 was a “park and ride” facility in nearby La Ciotat with capacity for 4000 cars and free onward buses to the circuit.
A paid bus service also connects Paul Ricard each day with the larger regional centres of Nice, Toulon, Marseille and Aix-en-Provence.
Which drivers have won the French Grand Prix?
Lewis Hamilton had dominated the French Grand Prix since it returned to the calendar, winning in both 2018 and 2019, and in a somewhat comfortable fashion too, but Max Verstappen bucked that trend with victory in 2021.
Hamilton’s 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 even more French GP victories to their name.
Michael 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 on more than two occasions.
The last 10 winners of the French Grand Prix are:
2021 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2019 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2018 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2008 – Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
2007 – Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
2006 – Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
2005 – Fernando Alonso (Renault)
2004 – Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
2003 – Ralf Schumacher (Williams)
2002 – Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
Tyre choices for the 2022 French Grand Prix
We wait to find out which compounds Pirelli will select from their range for the 2022 French Grand Prix.
What are the latest F1 Championship standings?