2022 French Grand Prix - Sunday
THE RACE TYRE STORY
- Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claimed his seventh win of the year after making just one pit stop at the French Grand Prix. He went from the P Zero Yellow medium tyre to the P Zero White hard tyre on lap 16, a couple of laps before a safety car came out when Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc went off.
- The safety car heavily influenced the strategy, with the majority of drivers taking advantage of it to make a pit stop. This was mostly medium to hard, as only three drivers started on the hard tyre.
- One of them was Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who climbed to fifth place overall from the back, following a grid penalty. He put on the medium under the safety car and then the medium again 11 laps from the end: one of just three finishers to stop twice in the race.
- Conditions were extremely hot, peaking at 57 degrees centigrade of track temperature just after the start of the grand prix.
HOW THE COMPOUNDS MADE THE DIFFERENCE
- HARD C2: The key compound to this race, which offered both durability and performance. Verstappen completed the longest stint on this compound of 36 laps. It’s worth nothing that none of the teams carried out long runs on this compound over the previous days.
- MEDIUM C3: The most popular choice to start the race, which showed less degradation than expected and a very good balance in these demanding conditions: particularly in the hands of Sainz, who did a middle stint of 24 laps that put him in podium contention from the back. Sainz also claimed the fastest lap on this compound.
- SOFT C4: Starred in qualifying but not used in the race, as the high degradation made it incompatible with a one-stop strategy.
“Grip and performance that meant only one stop was needed”
“In these very hot conditions that peaked at 57 degrees of track temperatures, we thought that two pit stops might be favoured. But in the end, as per our initial forecast, only one stop was needed – the fastest way on paper – thanks to the ability of both the hard and the medium compounds to handle these demanding conditions. There was a high degree of degradation, in line with what we would expect in these temperatures, and some blistering: but nothing that compromised the performance and integrity of the tyres here, at another exciting and unpredictable race.”
DAMS driver Ayumu Isawa claimed his first win in Formula 2 from second place on the grid, having got past polesitter Logan Sergeant on the opening lap. He started the race on the P Zero Red soft compound before switching to the P Zero White hard: the strategy adopted by 12 of the drivers. MP Motorsport’s Clement Novalak mastered the alternative strategy, starting on the hard tyre before switching to the soft on lap eight. He made up seven places to finish eighth, using the same strategy as his team mate Felipe Drugovich.