Content Editor at Free Super Tips, Alex was born in the shadow of Old Trafford and is an avid Man Utd fan. After graduating from university he combined his love of football, writing and betting to join FST and now closely follows goings-on in all of the top European leagues.
Charles Leclerc ended his five-race podium drought with a win at the home of Red Bull last time out and he will look to further cut into Max Verstappen’s World Drivers’ Championship lead when the ten Formula 1 teams head to the Circuit Paul Ricard in France this weekend.
Blistering temperatures are expected in the south of France this weekend and that, along with some key upgrades for major players, could play a key role in this Grand Prix.
French Grand Prix qualifying predictions
Charles Leclerc fastest qualifier at 1/1
Charles Leclerc was faster than Max Verstappen across both Free Practice sessions on Friday but it was FP2’s results that make the Monegasque driver favourite in my book.
Both Ferraris were over four-tenths clear of Verstappen in FP2 and, while it was Carlos Sainz who took the fastest time in that session, it’s hard to ignore Leclerc’s record in qualifying this season.
He has taken pole in six of the 11 Grands Prix so far and has been outqualified by his teammate just twice, which is important to note if Ferrari are indeed fastest over a single lap.
13/1 French Grand Prix qualifying match bet acca
Alex Albon to beat Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi earned a career-best tenth in qualifying at Silverstone but he has only started ahead of teammate Alex Albon twice in 11 races and was slowest in Free Practice.
Charles Leclerc to beat Max Verstappen
Ferrari look the fastest car over one lap and Charles Leclerc has been sensational in qualifying this season, taking pole six times and outqualifying Max Verstappen seven times.
Fernando Alonso to beat Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon looked strangely off the pace in Free Practice and Fernando Alonso knows how to extract qualifying performance from the Alpine. He has outqualified Ocon in four of the last five races and has reached Q3 nine times this season.
Kevin Magnussen to beat Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher has come on a lot over the last month but he is still off the pace in qualifying compared to his teammate. Kevin Magnussen has beaten his young teammate in nine of the 11 qualifying sessions this year and in each of the last six.
Lando Norris to beat Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo was off the pace in Free Practice again and he qualified 16th in Austria last time out, losing to Lando Norris for the ninth time in 11 races this season.
Lewis Hamilton to beat George Russell
Lewis Hamilton has found his rhythm in the Mercedes and has taken three successive podiums. He has beaten George Russell in qualifying in five of the 11 races but has been testing experimental setups and was on track for a front-row start in Austria before he crashed out.
Pierre Gasly to beat Yuki Tsunoda
After a promising start Yuki Tsunoda seems to have drifted backwards a little and he was beaten by teammate Pierre Gasly in qualifying for the fourth race in a row in Austria. He has only outqualified Gasly three times this season and two of those were only by a single position.
Sebastian Vettel to beat Lance Stroll
Sebastian Vettel has dragged the Aston Martin into Q3 three times in nine races and has beaten his teammate in seven of those, while Stroll has been in the bottom three in qualifying in each of the last six races.
Valtteri Bottas to beat Guanyu Zhou
Guanyu Zhou’s race-craft is impressive but he has a lot to learn over one lap. He qualified 18th in Austria after a three-race run of impressive performances, while he was 17th in Fp2 compared to Valtteri Bottas’ 12th.
French Grand Prix predictions
Max Verstappen to win at 5/4
It has been a long time since Max Verstappen wasn’t the outright favourite heading into a Grand Prix but Friday’s Free Practice sessions brought Charles Leclerc level with him as far as the markets are concerned.
However, Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz reported tyre degradation issues over the radio and Leclerc was off the pace compared to Verstappen in race trim.
Similarly to the majority of this season, Ferrari look to have the advantage over one lap but there are plenty of overtaking opportunities at Paul Ricard so missing out on pole position won’t bother Max Verstappen too much if he can press his race-pace advantage on Sunday.
Lewis Hamilton podium finish at 11/10
Lewis Hamilton fought back from eighth on the grid in Austria to claim his third successive podium and Mercedes have brought another upgrade to Paul Ricard as they look to close the gap between themselves and the two frontrunners.
Of course, retirements from Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz have aided Hamilton in recent weeks but more DNFs could be on the cards in France.
Soaring temperatures, with nearby Le Castellet forecast 33 degrees Celsius on Sunday afternoon, could play a part in worsening reliability and that would play into the hands of the ultra-reliable Mercedes, which has suffered just one retirement so far this season.
Ferrari have suffered two engine failures and a hydraulics-based retirement in the last four races, while the blistering track temperatures will not help a Red Bull that struggled with tyre wear in Austria.
While a race win in his 300th Grand Prix may be a step too far, backing Hamilton for another podium looks a solid choice.
Sebastian Vettel points finish at 9/4
Aston Martin have been terrible over one lap this season but their race pace is solid and Sebastian Vettel has the talent and experience to drag every inch of performance out of the car.
He hasn’t qualified higher than 17th in any of the last three races but has made up places on Sunday on all three occasions, while he has finished in the top ten in three of his last five Grands Prix.
Not only that, but the one-lap pace does look to have improved, with Vettel coming 14th in FP1 and 13th in FP2.
Both cars points finish – Alpine at 5/6
The French Grand Prix is Alpine’s home race but, while that can have a positive effect, this tip offers value based on car and driver performance alone.
Between them, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso have secured 15 points finishes from a possible 22 and five of their failures to do so came in the first five Grands Prix.
In the six races since then they have enjoyed double points-scoring finishes four times and the home support will be expecting them to do so again here.
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