Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz arrived in the Paul Ricard Circuit paddock today and got a first taste of the heatwave sweeping through France and much of Europe right now. The high temperatures will make life difficult for everyone this weekend, but the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers did not seem worried. “We are ready to race in these extreme conditions as the heat is nearly always a factor,” explained Charles. “Last year the temperatures were also very high and we struggled quite a lot with the tyres, but I think we learned a from last year’s race and we have made a lot of progress with tyre management. This year we want to fight at the front.”
Confidence. Carlos also maintained he was not concerned. “As usual, at the very hot races, I hydrate enough before getting in the car and then, as always we will concentrate on the work that awaits us over the weekend.” The Spaniard has put the retirement in Austria behind him and has recharged his batteries. ”We are only at the halfway point of the season and there are still a lot of possibilities. Our car is very strong and its performance continues to improve. I am ready for an attacking race.”
Track limits. One of the topics discussed with the media was that of track limits, which are usually defined with help from sensors in the kerbs or white lines that mark the track limit. “It’s a question that’s typical of modern Formula 1,” said Charles. “In the old days, there used to be gravel traps and so you knew not to go there... But these are the rules for everyone and they have to be respected. For sure, with the limited visibility we have from the cockpit, it’s better when the sensors are in the kerbs, because at least you feel it when you drive over them, but when you are dealing with the white lines, it’s really difficult.”
Programme. Free practice takes place tomorrow at 14 and 17 CET, while qualifying begins on Saturday at 16, preceded by the final hour of free practice at 13. The 62nd French Grand Prix to count towards the World Championship gets underway at 3pm on Sunday. It will run over 53 laps, equivalent to 309.69 kilometres.