French Grand Prix Betting Preview, Odds and Expert Tips

French Grand Prix Betting Preview, Odds and Expert Tips

Quick Tips

As there was no French Grand Prix between 2008 and 2017, and last year was the first time it had been raced at Circuit Paul Ricard since 1985, we have limited form to go on this race weekend.

Hamilton aced two practice sessions, started from pole and won the French Grand Prix a year ago. Bottas did go fastest in the other practice session and claimed the fastest lap of the race. But after starting second he only finished seventh in the contest courtesy of an opening bend shunt and puncture which earned the guilty party, Sebastian Vettel, a five-second penalty.

As a circuit described by all teams as ‘medium-downforce’ there’s little reason to believe this will not be Mercedes territory once again and that means it is Hamilton’s race for the taking. The Brit has unquestionably stamped his authority on teammate Valtteri Bottas’ forehead this year. In fact he has actually performed better than ever, and must to taken into consideration when plotting your Formula 1 betting strategy.

After seven 2019 F1 races his record shows five wins and two seconds. To quantify that - at this point in 2018, 2017 and 2016 he had won just two and had not enjoyed more than two seconds. There is no reason to oppose him on Sunday, and you can back him to win at evens with BetVictor.

No Safety Needed

This track, probably the ugliest you will ever see but unforgettable courtesy of the psychedelic blue lines which line the circuit, did need safety car intervention in 2018. But with run-off areas which are simply enormous and no gravel traps, there’s every reason to believe last season’s opening corner congestion, which necessitated that safety car, may have been a flash in the pan.

With it being required just three times from this season’s seven races – and in half of the last 20 races – the head and heart are in agreement that William Hill’s 6/4 is too big a price about it remaining parked up for all of Sunday’s 53 race laps.

Safety in Numbers

Finishing numbers continue to rise and following 19 finishers in Monaco and equally impressive 18 completed the race distance in Canada last time. Once again it was not engines or gearboxes which brought around the retirements – it was a broken suspension and collision damage.

This season’s completion rate is almost 89.3 percent and of the 19 cars which have failed to be classified as finishers this year only three retired with engine/power unit failure. If there are to be non-finishers on Sunday, I’d favour brake problems to be the chief suspect. But regardless of what causes them, there is no reason to believe they will be plentiful. The 5/4 with Bet365 for over 17.5 classified finishers could be the play here.

Renault to Crack It?

Naturally this is the home Grand Prix for the Renault team and the partially state-owned manufacturer will be keen to see their cars perform well. There’s every chance they will enjoy their best result of the season too. A sixth and seventh in Canada was encouraging stuff and confirmed the positive vibes coming from the team in regards to an improved engine.

This week they unveil a “major upgrade” with “lots in the pipeline” for the race according to Renault's F1 managing director Cyril Abitebou. I presume that means yet more improvements and given the team took eighth and ninth here a year ago, they should be able to achieve a ‘double points finish’ for the second consecutive race.

Similarly the chances of Daniel Ricciardo recording a second consecutive top-6 finish look shorter than the 9/4 available at Paddy Power – and that makes the outcome an automatic bet choice.

Marginal Stuff

Mercedes claimed 1-2 finishes in the first five races of the season and three of those saw the winner prevail by under 4.2sec. The last two races were not Mercedes 1-2’s but the margins were still small – 2.6sec and 3.6sec – and while Hamilton scored by 7sec here 12 months ago, the overwhelming indicator is for a narrow-margin winner once more.

A reminder, we believe Hamilton will win this race and is a past-master of doing just enough from the front and not causing unnecessary stress on his equipment when being pursued by a teammate who is under instruction to ‘maintain position’. Take the winning margin to be under four seconds at 10/11 with BetVictor .

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