It will be a two-fold celebration next weekend for Formula 1 as the sport marks the return to the calendar of the French Grand Prix and the Circuit Paul Ricard.

Just like Silverstone and the Circuit de Catalunya, Paul Ricard was recently re-surfaced, resulting in a smooth yet high-grip asphalt.

And like in Barcelona, to help combat blistering, Pirelli will bring a tyre with a tread reduced by 0.4 millimetres for its selected range that features the Soft, SuperSoft and Ultrasoft rubber.

    French GP goes for two DRS zones at Paul Ricard

“Paul Ricard is effectively an entirely new circuit for everyone, but we have some idea of what to expect not only from Formula 1 testing, but also through our experience of GT racing, with the track having recently hosted the latest round of the Blancpain GT Series,” explains Pirelli’s Mario Isola.

“From this, we can expect high grip but low degradation, similar to Barcelona.

“One other factor could be the weather though, as high track temperatures are possible over the weekend, which would increase thermal degradation,” he adds.

“With the teams being not so familiar with the new grand prix track layout, free practice will be even more important than usual to get an accurate read on tyre behaviour.

“Only after then will we have a better idea of what the most likely strategies might be.”

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