French Grand Prix F1: Why are Turn 2 Kerbs at the Paul Ricard Circuit so Difficult to Master?

Published 06/19/2021, 2:57 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 18, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice REUTERS/Eric Gaillard


The first two practice sessions for the French Grand Prix are officially complete. Looking at the two sessions, it was worth mentioning that many drivers struggled to get to grips with the track. During the sessions, several drivers spun off the track or went off wide, ruining their laps. Of course, there were other areas that caught out a few drivers, like Turn 3, Turn 11, Turn 15 and more.

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One of the common places was Turn 2, which proved to be quite treacherous. The likes of Carlos Sainz, Pierre Gasly, Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas were all caught out in FP1. To make matters worse for Sainz, his spin ruined a set of soft tyres, rendering them useless for the rest of the weekend. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel clattered the wall elsewhere on the track, jeopardizing his session.

The drivers were caught out by the sausage kerbs at this turn. They damaged Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes F1 car during the first free practice session.

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Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during practice REUTERS/Yves Herman

FP2 was not much better, as Verstappen fell afoul of the corner yet again. While running on medium tyres, he ran wide and clattered his front wing on the kerbs. The incident brought out a Virtual Safety Car after 15 minutes and the Red Bull team even wanted the broken front wing back.

How did the French Grand Prix practice sessions pan out?

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In FP1, Valtteri Bottas held the advantage despite his off-track excursion. He managed to best his teammate Lewis Hamilton, both of whom are in new Mercedes W12 chassis’. Max Verstappen ended up third fastest, ahead of teammate Sergio Perez and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.

Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 18, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel during practice REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Meanwhile in FP2, it was Verstappen who took top honors at the Circuit Paul Ricard. However, he wound up barely eight thousands of a second ahead of Bottas. Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton took 3rd ahead of an impressive Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Verstappen managed to top the second session despite the damage to his front wing at the dreaded Turn 2.

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DIVE DEEPER

French GP FP2 Report: Verstappen Reclaims Top Spot from Mercedes F1 Duo of Hamilton-Bottas

about 1 month ago

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Dhruv George

11750 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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