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F1: French Grand Prix set to begin on Friday

Red Bull's Sergio Perez (Photo: F1)

Formula One drivers are seeking to dominate the track and edge closer to the top spots in the World Championship at this weekend’s French Grand Prix.

The Formula One French Grand Prix is set for July 22 to 24 at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc put in a commanding performance to claim victory in the most recent race, the Austrian Grand Prix. Leclerc says that win has given him added confidence heading into this weekend’s races.

“It’s been five races that I keep coming to the track, and I keep smiling and being optimistic, but obviously it’s been very difficult to just have races after races, some disappointments, so to finally show our pace, finally win another race is really good.”

He held off a late charge from Red Bull rival Max Verstappen to cut the world champion’s lead in the drivers’ championship to 38 points.

Verstappen also won last year’s French Grand Prix after passing title rival Lewis Hamilton on the race’s penultimate lap.

The Dutch driver is looking forward to returning to a track on which he and the team have enjoyed success before, as he set his sights on improving on the tyre degradation issues that cost him victory in Austria.

Mercedes will be looking to continue their recent improvement after Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished third and fourth, respectively.

In the earlier part of this season, Mercedes were most affected by porpoising. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said he believed the team were getting on top of the problems their car has suffered from thus far.

Lewis Hamilton will not take part in the first practice for the French Grand Prix on Friday, with reserve driver Nyck De Vries behind the wheel of his Mercedes instead.

This is due to an F1 regulation added this year, stating that teams must use rookie drivers on at least two occasions during first practice. Hamilton is preparing for his 300th Grand Prix start this weekend.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez failed to finish in Austria and dropped to third place in the overall standings. Despite his 57-point deficit to championship leader and Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez is still gunning for overall glory in 2022 as he aims to hit back in France this weekend.

Perez had at one stage been 15 points behind Verstappen after winning the Monaco Grand Prix. But since then, he has suffered two retirements in four races – including a DNF last time in Austria.

With Ferrari hoping to extend their streak to three consecutive wins and Mercedes pushing forward with even more upgrades in France, Red Bull face a stern test at the French GP.

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