French Grand Prix: 5 questions that need answers at this weekend's race at Paul Ricard

french grand prix

The French Grand Prix is upon us this weekend as Formula 1 heads to Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France for the latest round of the season.

The French Grand Prix is one of the most famous events on the F1 calendar with it a throwback to days even before the World Championship was created, though it's been held at several different venues over the years.

In the last few seasons, barring 2020 of course, it's been hosted by Circuit Paul Ricard and, after a whirlwind Azerbaijan Grand Prix a fortnight ago, we're all looking forward to seeing what gets thrown up this weekend.

Here, then, are five questions that need answers in France...

Can Perez launch a title challenge?

sergio perez

Sergio Perez was hugely impressive last time out and though he had the win fall into his lap after Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton's incidents, he still was good enough on the day for it to be fair to say he deserved to be on the top step.

He's 36 points off of Max in the Drivers' standings and so it will be tough to reel the top two in but there are plenty of races left, and his confidence will be high.

Could he chip away further at the deficit? A big performance that sees him triumph again this weekend will grab serious attention.

Will Mercedes now bounce back?

hamilton

Mercedes have been nowhere for much of the last two races and they'll be itching to bounce back this weekend.

Monaco was a write-off before Baku at least offered Lewis Hamilton a chance of scoring decent points and even re-taking the championship lead, before his surprising mistake that dropped him to the rear of the field.

The French Grand Prix has been dominated by Merc and Hamilton in the last two races, though, and so they'll be confident of a strike back.

Where are Aston Martin now performance-wise?

vettel

This weekend could give us a real sense of where Aston Martin are performance-wise this season now.

Two impressive performances around Monte-Carlo and Baku has seen their points tally boosted nicely, with Sebastian Vettel chalking up a fifth and then a second place in the last two races.

Street circuits are always a little different to your more conventional race tracks, however, and so this weekend we'll see just how much progress the green machines have made.

How will Bottas and Russell deal with the speculation?

george russell

Once again, the main story heading into a race weekend surrounds George Russell and Valtteri Bottas with rumours once again rearing their head to suggest that a switch could be on between the pair.

Both of them have been pretty coy in their press conferences ahead of this one but they'll both be aware of the talk and it'll be interesting to watch how they both carry themselves this weekend.

Can Paul Ricard entertain?

paul ricard

It's a bit of an elephant in the room that the French Grand Prix can be a little bit processional and boring around Circuit Paul Ricard.

Mercedes' dominance there hasn't helped that matter whilst the large run-off areas limit the drama considerably as mistakes aren't particularly punished.

2021 has largely been an entertaining season so far and after we were given a real treat in Baku last time out, we'll just be hoping we can get something with even half the drama this weekend in France.

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