The return of the French Grand Prix after 28 years to the Circuit Paul Ricard circuit was kicked off with the first full day of on-track activities, which gave the participating teams an opportunity to learn about the track itself, as well as the performance of their cars at his location. Charles Leclerc showed a strong performance throughout the day, reporting that the track is a challenge that he is excited to learn more about and tackle over this weekend. Marcus Ericsson had a positive first free practice session, before an unfortunate incident left his car damaged and prevented him from participating the second session. The team is analysing the collected data to learn as much as possible about this newly entered track, and optimize their performance for the rest of the weekend.
Marcus Ericsson: “It is a disappointing outcome for me, as I did not participate in the second free practice session today. FP1 looked quite promising. We had some updated parts on the car, and it felt like we made another step forward there. As we were starting to feel more and more comfortable on track. The wind was affecting the balance but I was coping with it when I suddenly lost the rear of my car entering T11 and crashed into the barriers. We are currently analysing our data to understand what exactly happened. Unfortunately, the incident has compromised our weekend quite a bit. We lost precious time and the mechanics have a lot of work ahead to change the chassis. I look forward to having a more positive day tomorrow.”
Charles Leclerc: “It was an interesting day for us here at the Circuit Paul Ricard. With the venue coming back to Formula 1 after such a long time, it has been a challenge to all teams to find a way in which to master this track today. The two free practice sessions went quite ok for me. The wind played a big role in terms of how it affected our balance, and it was difficult to have a consistent performance during the sessions. We will now analyse the collected data and work hard to find a way to maximize our performance for the rest of the weekend. It will be important to put everything together in FP3 tomorrow, and have a satisfying qualifying result. I like a challenge, and look forward to being back on track again.”