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Can Vettel rebound from Canada controversy? Get French Grand Prix tips

Leigh Copson 19 Jun 2019
Sebastian Vettel (credit: Andrew Chin/Zuma Press/PA Images)

French Grand Prix predictions for the race on Sunday, June 23. The 2019 Formula 1 season continues with the eighth race taking place in France – but who will be victorious? Read on for our all of our free predictions and betting tips.

French Grand Prix 2019 Predictions

French Grand Prix 2019 Betting Tips Explained

Lewis Hamilton strengthened his grip on top spot in the Drivers’ Championship with his victory in Canada last time out, but to say the result of the race was controversial would be an understatement of pretty epic proportions. Sebastian Vettel thought he had finally ended his 2019 win drought and kick-started his campaign when he crossed the finish line first, but his joy turned to despair, then frustration and anger, when he realised that a five-second penalty for dangerous driving as he returned to the track would deny him first place and hand it to Hamilton.

Vettel’s disgust was clear for all to see and hear. Over the radio he told his team “they are stealing the race from us,” and after the race his mood was no cheerier. In a scene that will be replayed for many years to come he swapped over the first and second place markers to what he thought was the correct result for the race, and he did not hold back when asked about the incident that cost him a first win of the season.

“I had nowhere to go,” he insisted. “Seriously I had nowhere to go. I didn't see him. No, no, no guys. Not like that. Seriously, you need to be an absolute blind man to think that you can go through the grass and then control your car. I was lucky that I didn't hit the wall. Where the hell am I supposed to go? This is a wrong world. I tell you. This is not fair.”

Vettel received backing from drivers and pundits post-race, with former world champion Nigel Mansell branding the decision “very, very embarrassing”, but that support did not help Ferrari’s appeal against the decision which was subsequently dismissed by officials. The result means Vettel now trails Hamilton by 62 points in the Drivers’ Championship and it is going to take a considerable effort, and a good degree of good fortune, for him to somehow get right back into the title picture.

The Ferrari man simply has to get off the mark with a victory in this weekend’s French Grand Prix, but the Circuit Paul Ricard was not a happy hunting ground for him 12 months ago when this race returned to the F1 calendar. Vettel had to settle for third place on the grid before finishing fifth in the race, and while he was enduring a disappointing weekend Hamilton was enjoying a dominant one as he turned pole position into a comfortable victory.

So will we see similar scenes this year? My answer to that question is no – I believe Vettel can put his Canadian disappointment behind him to finally get off the mark. Just like the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, the Circuit Paul Ricard boasts several long straights that will play into the hands of the Ferrari, and if Vettel can replicate his showing in in Montreal, without the penalty of course, there is a very good chance that he will finally record his first victory of the season.

My second selection is to back Daniel Ricciardo for a top six finish. The former Red Bull man made an underwhelming start to life with Renault as he managed just one top-10 finish and retired twice in his first four races, but a promising showing in Monaco suggested that better days were to come and they came a fortnight ago when Ricciardo recorded his first top-six finish of the season with a strong performance at the Canadian Grand Prix. With more power and a more reliable car in his hands, the Australian could follow up that top-six showing with another one on Sunday.  

French Grand Prix 2019 Predictions

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Can Vettel rebound from Canada controversy? Get French Grand Prix tips

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