Le Castellet is the venue for this weekend’s French Grand Prix and Mercedes look set for another successful weekend after dominating Friday’s practice sessions.
The Silver Arrows have won the individual and team honours in each of the seven races so far in 2019 and are the favourites to do so again at Circuit Paul Ricard.
After Valtteri Bottas won the opening race in Australia, it has been team-mate Lewis Hamilton who has won five of the six races since but it should not be forgotten that the Brit rode his luck in Canada.
A hydraulic leak made life tough for Hamilton and he was perhaps a touch fortunate as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was penalised by five seconds for rejoining the track unsafely.
The German has had his appeal against the penalty thrown out and is sure to have some extra fire in his belly for this one, with he and the Scuderia showing in Montreal that they have the straight-line speed to compete with the Mercs.
Had this preview been written before Friday practice, Vettel would have been talked up at 9/1 but it was Mercedes who had the better of the weekend’s opening two sessions.
Hamilton was quickest in the morning before Bottas, who is 29/20 to win the race, came back in the afternoon.
It was, though, the world champion who succeeded last year in Provence and he again looks to have the edge, not just on his colleague but also the field as a whole.
Red Bull took second last year through Max Verstappen and the Dutchman will feel there is more to come from his RB15 as the team look to get over a mixed weekend in Canada, where the 21-year-old finished fifth.
Circuit Paul Ricard should suit the straight-line speed of the car and he finished second here behind Hamilton 12 months ago.
More positive punters may fancy the 21/1 for him to be the fastest qualifier but a podium finish maybe a better idea.