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Ferrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice Results
Mercedes and Red Bull have been dominating the Formula 1 World Championship for more than a decade now. It all started with Sebastian Vettel, who won four titles in a row for Red Bull Racing. Then, Mercedes-AMG secured seven driver titles in a row with Lewis Hamilton doing most of the work and Nico Rosberg with one victory to his name before he retired. But the last time a Ferrari driver was crowned World Champion was 2007, and Kimmi Raikkonen was still part of the Scuderia team.

Ferrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice Results

Ferrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice ResultsFerrari Hopes of an F1 Title Are Improving After Strong Free Practice Results
If you look at the list of F1 champions for the past 40 years or so, you might notice some patterns. Between 1984 to 1991, McLaren was on top of everyone else with seven driver's championships. The only team that managed to beat them was Williams, and then they had to fight off Benetton for the next few years.

McLaren seemed to be back on the right path again, with genius driver Mika Häkkinen leading their championship efforts. By 1999, 20 years had passed since a Scuderia Ferrari driver last reigned supreme. That man was Jody Sheckter back in 1979.

After two decades, along came Michael Schumacher. He had already won two titles for Benetton in 1994 and 1995, but it took him four years to win the World Championship for the Italian squad. And at that point, everyone understood that he would become unstoppable.

Between the years 2000 and 2004, he took part in 85 GPs and won 48 of them. He had brought back Scuderia Ferrari to its glory days and even managed to score a few more victories in the last two years with the team.

While Verstappen managed to put a stop to Hamilton's string of victories in 2021, the Tifosi (Ferrari supporters) were eagerly waiting to see their favorites back on the podium once more. And Charles Leclerc managed to restore some of the hope that the day when Ferrari will reign supreme yet again is quite near.

The young driver from Monaco had a good year back in 2019, after winning two races and multiple podiums. He finished fourth overall on the leaderboard, but 2020 and 2021 weren't as kind to him.

After 11 races in 2022, he's scored three victories and additional two podiums. Going into the French GP, he is sitting in second place, 38 points behind Max Verstappen, who is still his number one opponent this year.

But Leclerc isn't the only one raising the team morale, Carlos Sainz is doing a great job as well, with one win and a total of five podium finishes. Halfway through the season, there are still many battles to be fought, but the French Grand Prix is the most important one right now.

On the first day of the event, drivers went through two free practice sessions: FP1 and FP2. Let's have a look at how things unfolded during the two hours of intense driving at Circuit Paul Ricard. Leclerc's special helmet, showcasing some of the most important moments of his career so far, must have brought him good fortune.

He was the fastest man in FP1 despite some initial mechanical concerns, as he secured a fast lap of 1:33.930. Max Verstappen spent less time on the track with a total of just 19 laps, but even so, he managed to finish in P2, just milliseconds away from his Ferrari rival.

Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz seems to have recovered after his unfortunate incident in Austria, and his pace was just 0.338 seconds slower than that of his teammate. Seeing Mercedes-AMG driver George Russell among the top five fastest drivers is no surprise anymore, and he was less than a second away from the top-ranking man of the day.

Former Formula E champion Nyck de Vries got his shot at driving the modern Silver Arrow and did not disappoint. With Lewis Hamilton watching from the side, the 27-year-old Dutchman finished a respectable P9 overall. Is that going to be enough to intimidate the British superstar?

That might not be the case for now. Lewis went in for his first laps of the weekend during FP2, and it didn't take long for him to be almost 2 seconds faster than the Mercedes-AMG backup driver. With a fast lap of 1:33.517, Hamilton secured P5 for this practice session. While George Russell finished fourth, things looked slightly different at the highest level.

Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers dominated FP2, but it was Carlos Sainz that got P1 after a total of 22 laps. Leclerc wasn't that far behind, with a gap of 0.101 seconds. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen was 0.550 seconds slower than the Spaniard, but still doing better than Sergio Perez, who had to settle for P10.

Of course, the results in FP1 and FP2 can hint at the possible outcome of the race weekend. But they are in no way a guarantee for any sort of prediction. It will be interesting to see how much faster drivers will be during the Qualifying session today, which is scheduled to start at 4 PM GMT+2. The good thing for them is that they will also get to drive in FP3, which should help dial in some last moment adjustments for both man and machine.





 
 
 
 
 

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