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French Grand Prix Qualifying and Race Preview: July 22

By Michael Spiegel

After an entertaining Austrian Grand Prix a few weekends ago, Formula 1 heads to the Circuit Paul Ricard for the French Grand Prix. Last season saw Max Verstappen win from pole and claim the fastest lap in the process. Verstappen will be looking to achieve the same result this weekend after he was unable to outduel Charles Leclerc at Red Bull’s home race.

Leclerc is starting to gain on the driver’s standings, closing the gap on Verstappen. While Max still leads by a fairly large margin, Leclerc has been doing well recently. Mattia Binotto and Ferrari have made it clear that they aren’t prioritizing either Leclerc or Carlos Sainz, which has resulted in frustration throughout Ferrari fandom and within the team. On the other side, Verstappen is the number 1 driver for Red Bull and we shall see if that helps them to gain a larger lead in the constructors.

Only a Ferrari or Red Bull driver has won a race this season. After Red Bull winning six straight races, Ferrari has now won back-to-back races of their own adding some more interest to both the driver’s and constructor’s championships. Aside from the two main competitors, Lewis Hamilton has been notable as of late picking up three-straight podium finishes. While Mercedes still trails in the constructors by a large margin, don’t count out the talent of Hamilton and Russell, there’s still plenty of racing left in this season.

I think this weekend will be great for Max Verstappen and Red Bull. I’m expecting him to pull off what he did last season and have a perfect weekend.

My Picks:

No Retirements +1400 (bet365): Being such a wide open, and normally a fairly ‘boring’ race, it’s not a terrible idea to bet on no retirements occurring. There were no retirements last season so maybe that could happen again. At +1400 it could be a fun bet to look at.

Safety Car Period During Race – No +162 (bet365): Building upon the ‘no retirements’ bet, this circuit is very open and has a ton of run-off area for drivers. There’s a good chance that we won’t see a safety car during this race and I think the odds should be closer to +110.

Qualifying Winning Margin – Under 0.1 seconds +200 (bet365): I think Verstappen will get the better of Leclerc, however, they were both so evenly matched in Austria that I think there will be a very slim margin for pole position on Saturday.

Max Verstappen – Fastest Qualifier, Fastest Lap, and Race Winner +400 (bet365): Verstappen has been the most consistent driver this season. I think there’s a good chance that he repeats what he pulled off last season and win from pole with the fastest lap. Also, at +400 I feel like that’s some very good value.

One of betstamp’s largest brand values is transparency. Whether you are looking to tail or fade my picks, or potentially just like reading the breakdowns, you can find my full documented betting record here. Best of luck with your bets today.

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