Ahead of the 2018 French Grand Prix, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen suspects overtaking will be difficult at Paul Ricard.
He said, “I tested there in the past and there are a lot of different layouts they’ve been using in the past. I think it’s more or less the long layout where we’re going to race and I’ve been there with the McLaren and once with the Ferrari. Let’s see.
I think it will be more or less the same as in those days. It might be another difficult place where to overtake, at least that’s what it looked like in the past even if it was just from testing. It’s hard to believe it’s going to change the world.”
The Paul Ricard Formula 1 circuit will have two DRS zones to further aid in overtaking.
The long straights offer plenty of options for DRS activation. However, the FIA has elected to feature one of the start/finish straight and one in the opening section of the long back straight.
The back straight zone has a detection point 75 metres before Turn 7, a left hander on to the Mistral Straight. The zone itself has an activation point 170m after the corner.
The second zone has a detection point at Turn 14, which is the penultimate corner, and an activation point 115m after Turn 15.
The FIA will also analyse the areas and lengths of these zones once cars are running in France. This is so that changes could be made if the governing feels that the DRS zones do not work well enough or are too effective.
If there is more effort needed to boost overtaking, one option would be to fit a third zone after the chicane on the backstraight.
This will be the first time any of the F1 drivers visit the track for a Grand Prix weekend. Even old hands like Raikkonen and Alonso have never race at the circuit.