The Official 2018 French Grand Prix Thread ***SPOILERS with oil stains and splatted flies***

Posted by EC83 
French Grand Prix 2018


Great to see that they've revived one of the classic circuits. It's not just the first French Grand Prix since 2008 and first Grand Prix at Paul Ricard since 1990, it's the first Grand Prix on effectively the original Paul Ricard layout since 1985, which is niiice.

Interesting and fun race in prospect. A lot of unknowns going into Quali. Crazy rain this morning!



Great to see that it's just one huge parking lot nowadays, and they're using one joke of a layout rather than 1A.



Some mods
::: F1 1996 ::: F1 2002 ::: F1 2007 ::: F1 2011 ::: F1 2013 ::: F1 2015 ::: F1 2018 :::

Some other stuff ::: Some more other stuff
(Yay... A reply! My post got a reply!!! An actual thread has started! :D)

They're saying the chicane on the Mistral Straight might be removed for next year, which would be sweet.
I don't agree with the painted strips all around the track, they remind of the silly painted stripes at Abu Dhabi the first year the race was held there. I really think gravel run-offs would work better.



:D

Yeah heard that as well, apparently most drivers complained about it. I've driven the 1A layout in some sims, that one's quite enjoyable to drive actually. They'll also have to work on access roads. Right now there seems to be only 1 leading towards the track, causing massive traffic jams, with fans being stuck for several hours.

Hate tarmace runoffs in general, said that plenty of times in various forums/discussions. Drivers go over the limit non-stop, worst that happens is a 0.5s time loss if they run wide.



Some mods
::: F1 1996 ::: F1 2002 ::: F1 2007 ::: F1 2011 ::: F1 2013 ::: F1 2015 ::: F1 2018 :::

Some other stuff ::: Some more other stuff
It's @#$%&. It was @#$%& in the 80s and it will be even more @#$%& now.

And it has possibly the worst pit-exit I've seen in recent history, which will be dangerous in the race if you're in the spray of another car - how they passed that I've no idea.
gav Wrote:
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> It's @#$%&. It was @#$%& in the 80s and it will
> be even more @#$%& now.

I've @#$%& missed you and your expert analysis of stuff. :) :D :D

I still think it's better than Magny Cours(or any other circuit in France except Clermont-Ferrand) and that they've done a good job of restoring it to what it was... Whether that's good or bad is subjective I guess, LOL!
I'd like to see the Mistral Straight uninterrupted by a chicane and a more high-speed layout(Ideally the fastest one) being used at the first corner, to fully resurrect the pre-1986 layout - but I think this is a good start.

I agree on the pit lane exit, it's the worst one I've seen for ages too and it's actually pretty scary; there were a couple of moments on Friday where it looked like there would be an accident. I imagine it'll be extended in future to join the track at or after the first corner, like the one in Korea was.

The pit lane here has always been on the basic side - I remember watching a video of the 1990 race and thinking the pits looked more like the pits at Knockhill - and it's actually changed surprisingly little. It must have the most exposed entry of any pit lane F1 currently uses, and the random bend in it halfway along reminds of the pit lane in India. I like all that kind of stuff though(minus the scary pit exit), because it adds a bit more character to the place. Kinda.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2018 02:24AM by EC83.
The corners are all the same. Ever tightening, it must be so frustrating to drive. Magny-Cours is at least a good track to drive (well, it was until the change they made to the final chicane), but the races were largely terrible (1999 aside).

I suppose the generally slow corners might mean some overtaking onto the Mistral tomorrow, but I think it will be another tyre-preservation fest with the long corners and slower pitlane speed limit. Hopefully someone from Red Bull spices it up by making a late pitstop. Raikkonen didn't in Canada when he had a free one so we ended up with stalemate and the most drab race I think I've ever seen.

The F2 race yesterday was great fun though.
The F2 race was quality! Not sure how good it would've been without the rain, but it was definitely great entertainment from start to finish.

I'd say this track is more entertaining to watch races on than Magny Cours at least(I haven't driven both yet). You didn't like the final section after it was modified in 2003? I thought that was a big improvement over the Lycee, which I thought disrupted the flow of the circuit... I guess it'd be a boring world if we all agreed on everything, ha.

Kimi this year has been disappointing on the surface, but I think being forced into the #2 role at Ferrari has demoralised him a great deal, and we're simply not seeing him perform to his potential. But, yeah, I think he was disappointing and lacklustre in Canada.

I'm hoping for an interesting race at least, think a lot will depend on whether it rains later on or stays dry.
Brilliant start time for the race BTW - 3:10PM in the UK is perfect, loads of build-up time!



Woooo, messy start! Looks like the drivers' lack of familiarity with this track is showing there.



Quote
EC83
You didn't like the final section after it was modified in 2003? I thought that was a big improvement over the Lycee, which I thought disrupted the flow of the circuit...

Nope, I know it added a rather mediocre overtaking spot (that Trulli won't especially like) but I thought the Lycee was far more challenging. The new layout was everything that was going wrong with F1 at the time, where drivers were easily bailed out instead of being punished (don't get me wrong, the old Lycee wasn't exactly full of spikes (Brundle) but it was better than the trademark Tilke understeery mess that replaced it).

Edit: the race earlier was much better than I expected, mainly because of Vettel's cock-up at the start and the other schoolboy driving though.

The race needs to be pulled for 2019 if they can't sort the traffic out though. Half a day in queues is not acceptable in 2018, and Chase's reasoning ( "shows how popular it is" ) stunk badly. This is Ecclestone's back yard and it was like Carey and Brawn (advertising the weather) went full on Ecclestone in every way in tribute.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2018 10:46PM by gav.
Yeah, the traffic situation was @#$%&. It reminded me of the commentary for the first race at Magny Cours in '91 when Murray said that "you get here through country lanes and enormous traffic jams" - but that was then... Seems that racetracks in France generally need better transport networks. I'm hoping they'll sort that for next year, as well as the pit exit.

I think what I liked about the modified final section at Magny Cours was the more practical look of it: a nice curved sweep from Ch√Ęteau D'Eau into Trulli's favourite corner, then how the whole thing looped back on itself. That made it good for judging gaps when watching races, because you could see cars ahead flashing through the picture when watching a driver accelerating away towards the new complex, and cars behind flashing through the picture in the background when watching a driver heading into the first corner. That and the nicer flow I thought it gave the end of the lap.
I guess the Lycee was challenging because it was fiddly and off-camber, and it was easy to get off-line or to miss the first braking point altogether(Like Ralf did in the closing stages of the 1999 race, which I think was when Martin made his comment about the spikes... Think the gravel trap had been replaced by Astroturf by that point). I see what you mean by technically difficult - the later end of the lap definitely wasn't that.

I thought this race was surprisingly good compared with the widespread expectations - loads of overtaking and other action(In particular I liked Kimi's build-up to his pass on Ricciardo... It's a long time since I've seen a driver play around with lines through a whole complex of corners to get the guy in front to go defensive, and it was caught brilliantly on Ricciardo's rear-facing camera). The crash on the first lap was pretty crazy, and I thought it was unfortunate that two French drivers got wiped out of the race. Vettel @#$%& up, and I think that between the lack of damage on his car and the leniency of the penalty, he got off pretty lightly.
Shame the rain after the race didn't fall two hours earlier though.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2018 04:58AM by EC83.
EC83 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yeah, the traffic situation was @#$%&. It reminded
> me of the commentary for the first race at Magny
> Cours in '91 when Murray said that "you get here
> through country lanes and enormous traffic jams" -
> but that was then... Seems that racetracks in
> France generally need better transport networks.
> I'm hoping they'll sort that for next year, as
> well as the pit exit.
>

It was a f*cking catastrophe. We were here twice for winter testing and I was alarmed that there was no work being done to the roads then - and of course, we have this situation.

Awful weekend in general, really...



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