We’re back to Europe after Canada, back to France after an absence of ten years and back to the Paul Ricard circuit which had hosted its last F1 Grand Prix in 1990. Seb Vettel was three years old then but he knows about the history of the sport and remembers “that Ferrari won with twice as many cylinders as we have today”.
“The car has worked everywhere so far”, says the winner of the Canadian Grand Prix, “and we are very happy about it. It’s more difficult to know what to expect here than on any other track, as we’ve never been properly here with the other teams at the same time and on the same circuit layout. We’ll see how it will be, I don’t see any reason why we should struggle and I think we should be doing fine here, but we don’t know exactly what to expect, the asphalt is new and the track is also new to a certain extent. The fact that we’ve been competitive so far in most of the recent races makes us quite confident for the next ones. We’ll focus on the next races always going step by step. I’m looking forward to racing here!”
For his part, Kimi Raikkonen is keen to re-discover the French track. “I think it’s nice to have a new place for racing”, says Kimi. “This is not a brand new track, I had driven here some years ago and we did a tyre test in 2016, but obviously racing is different. The layout of the track was different then, but it hasn’t really changed that much; it’s a bit wider in a few places, but the last part is always the same. As on any Thursday, it’s hard to know what to expect, but the weather is pretty warm and for sure it will play a part in many ways. What will happen and how the tyres will behave, nobody really knows. Let’s see how it is tomorrow and hopefully the circuit will provide some exciting racing. As for us, we’ll go through our normal program and see how the weekend will go, hoping this weekend is more straightforward than the last one”.