Ferrari need to maximise recent success at French Grand Prix

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Mick Schumacher gives Haas a reason to smile after the recent point successes in Austria and Silverstone.

2022 has been a year of intense battles on and off the field, with Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen going head-to-head on the track, while Red Bull and Mercedes bosses Christian Horner and Toto Wolff debated how the new regulations will most negatively impact their campaigns have had an impact.

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With Charles Leclerc emerging as the first contender for the lead, Verstappen hit back and took the lead dramatically, only for the 24-year-old Monegasse to counterattack again in the final episode in Austria.

As Formula 1 travels to a country rich in racing history, here are some of the most exciting storylines to watch out for in Marseille:

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Ferrari battle at critical time

Ferrari looked clear leaders in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships at the start of the season, but a series of engine failures at both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have seen the Italian horses fall behind their main 2022 rivals are.

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The first two races were won comfortably by the Monegasque driver, who was vying for his maiden championship, but that glory soon faded as his team made poor decisions and his engine stalled at critical points.

However, the last two races have put Ferrari back on the map. Not only did Leclerc manage to win his third race of the year in Austria, but Carlos Sainz won his first-ever F1 race at Silverstone the week before.

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With that momentum Ferrari should be able to go into the next race, a track where they have tremendous historical success and are looking to finish with a one-two.

Ferrari’s strategists and engineers still have a lot of work to do for both cars to finish a constant-speed race in the top positions, but they’ve shown it’s possible and it has to start this weekend if it’s to be a real one Title goes Fight is the order of the day.

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Schumacher and Magnussen at the Austrian GP both secured points for Haas

The rise of Schumacher

Another who could benefit from this momentum concept is Haas’ Mick Schumacher.

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Just a few weeks ago, the son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher was about to be ousted from the Haas team at the end of the season.

But not this week. No, this week Schumacher comes into a race after securing eighth and sixth places respectively at Silverstone and Austria.

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After 31 races, Schumacher was finally in the points and now looks unstoppable.

His battle for those points spots both included overtakes with drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen showing that contrary to what many speculated earlier in the season he really does have what it takes to be among the best.

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Schumacher’s addition to his team’s success has also catapulted Haas to seventh place among the constructors.

Schumacher reached Q2 at the circuit for the first time in 2021 and while he subsequently crashed in Q1, he highlighted a dramatic change in pace the young German had yet to see.

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With this history on the race track and his recent improvement in form, Günther Steiner suddenly has a little less to worry about than on normal race days.

Can Alpine take on McLaren?

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Two years ago McLaren was third in the Constructors’ Championship and last year they finished fourth.

They could drop another this year if Alpine is able to monopolize their recent success at their home circuit.

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Zak Brown and the rest of the Papaya crew would have hoped to fight for third place again, but now they are in danger of ending up among the other middle tier teams.

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo has struggled far more this season than his team can afford and he would have expected, but this has given way for the France-based team, formerly Renault, to widen the gap left by the Australian .

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A strong double-points finish for Alpine in Austria put the Papayas in fourth and en route to France, the crowd might very well be cheering for local driver Esteban Ocon and former two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso to finally overtake their British-Americans rivals.

Where better to do that than in your own garden?

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