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French GP: Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton desperate to bounce back as F1 ramps up with triple header


Formula 1 2021 heads to round seven in France this weekend, all live on Sky Sports F1; Will “normal” tracks suit Mercedes after the Monaco-Baku nightmare? Red Bull leads world champions by 28 points while Max Verstappen is four points ahead of Lewis Hamilton

Last update: 06/13/21 9:45 p.m.

Mercedes have vowed to turn their Baku anger into a solid result at this weekend’s French GP as the world champions, amid a fierce battle with Red Bull, try to bounce back from their worst two-race streak in nine years.

A captivating Formula 1 2021 campaign – which hosts competitive title duels between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, and Mercedes and Red Bull – intensifies from this weekend’s race at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France, the first of three Grands Prix in as many weeks.

Every practice, qualifying and race is live only on Sky Sports F1.

With so many points to gain, the triple header France-Styria-Austria is crucial for the title hopes and in particular Mercedes, which drags the two championships and has scored a meager seven points in the street races of Monaco and Baku; their weakest run in two races since 2012.

Mercedes was out of rhythm in both events as there were some big mistakes too – from operational and strategic mistakes to Hamilton’s dramatic blockage in Azerbaijan, where the Silver Arrows ended up with zero points.

But Mercedes boss Toto Wolff insisted on F1 Sky: “I have no doubt [we will bounce back].

French GP: Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton desperate to bounce back as F1 ramps up with triple header

French GP: Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton desperate to bounce back as F1 ramps up with triple header 3:34
Toto Wolff says he can’t call Lewis Hamilton’s mistake an error after failing at the first corner after the Azerbaijan GP race restarted.

Toto Wolff says he can’t call Lewis Hamilton’s mistake an error after failing at the first corner after the Azerbaijan GP race restarted.

“It’s a team that is so strong. I’m so angry, and we’re going to transfer the anger into a positive force. We’re warriors and we’re going to come back.”

Wolff added: “It’s going to hurt for a few days, but we’ll bring our best game to the next race.”

Red Bull now lead the constructors’ championship with 28 points thanks to Sergio Perez’s victory in Azerbaijan, while Verstappen is still four points ahead of Hamilton despite a heavy crash from a puncture.

French GP: Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton desperate to bounce back as F1 ramps up with triple header

French GP: Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton desperate to bounce back as F1 ramps up with triple header 6:29
Anthony Davidson was at SkyPad to analyze all the best action from a dramatic day in Baku after Sergio Perez won the race ahead of Vettel and Gasly.

Anthony Davidson was at SkyPad to analyze all the best action from a dramatic day in Baku after Sergio Perez won the race ahead of Vettel and Gasly.

This is because his big shunt led to a red flag and a restart of the race, after which Hamilton made an unusual mistake by flipping a “magic” brake switch and missing the first corner, going over with his lead. potential in 15th place.

“We’re going to rebuild and come back stronger for sure,” said Hamilton, who was cleared of all blame by his team.

Will the “normal” track of the French GP favor Merc over Red Bull?

Mercedes has every reason to be confident about its French GP prospects, having comfortably won both races at the Paul Ricard circuit since returning to the calendar in 2018. It was canceled last year due to the pandemic of Covid-19.

They also had a faster car than Red Bull in the Portugal-Spain showdown ahead of the final two street circuits, often referred to as “outliers” due to their unique setup compared to traditional F1 venues.

The French GP is certainly a more “normal” track – as Verstappen called it when he admitted his regret that he had not opened up a bigger gap with Hamilton in Baku. His lead would have been 15 points without his unfortunate fall.

French GP: Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton desperate to bounce back as F1 ramps up with triple header

French GP: Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton desperate to bounce back as F1 ramps up with triple header 3:01
Max Verstappen says he had no warning that his tire was going to burst during the Azerbaijani GP.

Max Verstappen says he had no warning that his tire was going to burst during the Azerbaijani GP.

“Of course Mercedes will be very strong on normal tracks, they had some difficulties on the city circuits but as you could also see in Barcelona they are very fast,” said Verstappen.

“We have to stay on our toes and keep pushing hard because they also have a very good car even if sometimes they don’t say it. They do.

“It’s just a shame. I wanted to widen this gap a little more before coming back to these kinds of tracks.”

The French GP is the first part of a triple header and the first of five races in seven weeks before the summer break.

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