It’s rare that I fall asleep in the middle of a Grand Prix, but the French Grand Prix from Paul Ricard was a soporific snooze-a-thon. The sun beating down on the crystal blue waters and the cool mistral breeze was clearly having the same effect on the drivers. Was that my only excuse? A two month-old depriving me of sleep the previous evening also contributed. Fortunately I caught the early part of the race and even managed to pay attention.
As usual, it was a Lewis Hamilton master-class in crushing your enemies on the battlefield, and then stomping on their spirits too. So it was business as usual at the pointy end. The interesting stuff was going on further down the field. What looked like a promising day for Antonio Giovanazzi turned into a complete hiding. That’s what you get for getting into Q3 on a set of softs and then killing your race strategically. Dan Ricciardo’s 7th place (before the penalty) was fortuitous but could still have been better. But the stars of the show were The Iceman Kimi Raikonnen and Carlos Sainz Jr. Kimi’s strategy was inspired, running hards long and jumping everyone when they came in. Sainz’s team-mate Lando Norris may have had the edge on him in qualifying trim, but he managed to convert an excellent start into a strong finish as well. He made life difficult for both Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen, showing the kind of grit he did when they were team-mates at Toro Rosso. He did everything right to win the ‘best-of-the-rest’ Class B.