Thunderstorm Warning in & Around Circuit Paul Ricard: Are F1 Fans in For Rain at French Grand Prix Race?

Published 06/20/2021, 3:55 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 19, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Yves Herman

F1 drivers are all set to race around the Circuit Paul Ricard for the third time since its return to the calendar in 2018. However, apart from the fact that the track offers minimal room for action, weather, too, has been a major disappointment.


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Both 2018 and 2019 witnessed the sun blazing hot throughout the afternoon, which crucially played spoilsport in the pace of tire wear. Interestingly though, a different story could be scripted over the forthcoming race at Le-Castellet.

And it’s not just surrounding the potential on-track battle between two title contenders, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.


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How does the weather look like on Sunday?

Earlier on Sunday, Meteo-France, the meteorological department of France, laid out a weather-related warning around the commune of Le-Castellet.

Apparently, weather models have predicted moderate chances of thunderstorms in and around the circuit over which the F1 action is all set to take place. What’s more, the warning also includes gusty winds and possibly life-threatening bolts of lightning too.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

The last time F1 witnessed such phenomena was back in 2015 at the Circuit of The Americas. During the qualifying session, a massive thunderstorm engulfed the circuit with damaging winds.

Ultimately, the session was called off citing nil visibility. Also, a stream of water was flowing all over the circuit. F1 eventually decided to postpone the session to Sunday morning, hours before the main race, when the weather much better with bright sunshine.


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Can we expect an astonishing F1 race in France?

There is no denying that rain will leave the race out of sorts, and possibly anyone could claim the podium. In addition to that, over 75% of the track was relaid earlier this year.

Hence, this is going to leave the drivers with an incredibly low grip, perhaps portraying a similar race to the Turkish GP last year.

What’s more, the fact that the circuit has variable altitude throughout, the chances of hydroplaning are significantly high, which subsequently increases the chances of crashes.


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Overall, this is a prediction, and F1 fans haven’t been lucky enough so far with the actual outcome, leaving Imola as an exception.

So, will rains manage to cheer up the dull fans over the race in France? Or will the rain gods yet again choose to play hide-and-seek throughout the afternoon? Well, let’s hope we’re lucky enough.


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Rohit Kumar

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Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.



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