WATCH: Lewis Hamilton Narrowly Avoids a Dangerous Crash With Yuki Tsunoda During France Free Practice

Published 06/18/2021, 2:18 PM EDT
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 08: Pole position qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP reacts in parc ferme during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 08, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Emilio Morenatti – Pool/Getty Images)


Alfa Tauri rookie Tuki Tsunoda avoided a hairy moment in Free Practice 1. The Japanese driver was coming out of the pits to join the track. When he joined the track, Williams just flew past him and avoided a collision. When he went wide in Turn 1, that disrupted a charging Lewis Hamilton, who took the escape road to avoid a collision.

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The pit exit at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France is quite narrow. This could prove highly dangerous for the drivers trying to join the track. The drivers have to be extra careful as the starting straight is also a DRS zone.

Yuki Tsunoda was lucky that the incident caused no damage to his or Lewis’ car. Lewis Hamilton was just starting a flying lap when he noticed Tsunoda’s Alfa Tauri join the track from the pits.

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Bottas leads Q1 from Lewis Hamilton in Free Practice 1

According to Autosport, Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheets in FP1 as he recorded a time of 1m33.488s. He set the time on his first flying lap and was ahead of Lewis by 0.335s. This is an important weekend for the Finn as he needs to put in a statement performance to quiet the critics.

Last week’s race winner Sergio Perez finished 4th but could not set his time on the soft tires. His teammate and championship leader Max Verstappen could only manage 3rd. The Silver Arrows look like they are the fastest at Paul Ricard and Red Bull seems to be slower.

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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

Who will come out on top in midfield?

Alpine are looking like the fastest team in the midfield. They were quite strong when F1 last raced at Paul Ricard. Esteban Ocon finished 5th ahead of his 2-time world champion teammate Fernando Alonso, who was 7th.

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It is an important weekend for the French outfit as it is their home race and they have to perform well to mount a challenge in the midfield.

They are a step ahead of McLaren, who finished 6th with Daniel Ricciardo, and Alfa Tauri, who had both cars in the Top-10. Ferrari look to be struggling as both drivers finished outside the Top-10.

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What do you think? Can Bottas win the French Grand Prix? Comment below to let us know.

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Devang Chauhan

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