2021 French Grand Prix interactive data: lap charts, times and tyres

2021 French Grand Prix

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The French Grand Prix had plenty of on-track overtaking but a lot of the key positions were decided in pit stop strategy and tyre management.

Before the race, Pirelli’s prediction was that for drivers starting on the medium tyre, it would be between 18 and 25 laps before they pitted. Most cars didn’t make it that far, as unexpectedly high degradation took a serious toll from the start.

Most drivers struggled with tyres during the French Grand Prix but Ferrari had an exceptionally difficult day. They had qualified well, Carlos Sainz Jnr in fifth and Charles Leclerc starting seventh, however they slipped back quickly, both drivers finishing outside of the top 10.

After the race, Sainz said that they were wrestling with “two times” the degradation of other cars. he said front tyre degradation had been a major concern for them since Bahrain.

Ferrari’s graining was so severe that by late in the race McLaren’s drivers were running laps two seconds quicker than they were able to, leaving the team no margins for strategy calls to recover.

The two cars did run different strategies, Sainz on a one-stop race, Leclerc called in for a relatively late two-stop, which he said was an act of desperation since he was running outside the points in any case. It didn’t deliver, due to traffic.

Verstappen regained the lead he lost making a second stop
What clearly did work was running long on a first stint. The drivers that were able to – Sergio Perez, Lando Norris, both Aston Martin drivers – made good on it and moved forwards on single-stop strategies.

As did Daniel Ricciardo, despite stopping on lap 14 and having to run to the end. Both he and Fernando Alonso made a single-stop strategy with a relatively short first stint work out while other drivers and teams struggled to preserve their tyres.

Race winner Max Verstappen took a different route entirely. Having accidentally surrendered the lead to Lewis Hamilton at the start, he regained it by being the first of the two to pit.

Mercedes’ pit stops have been problematic on occasions this year. This time their stop was competitive, but bringing Hamilton in two laps after Hamilton proved costly, and Verstappen jumped ahead. He then gave up the lead by pitting for a second time, as Red Bull realised it would be the quickest route to the end of the race, and they didn’t want to risk a repeat of their defeat in Spain.

Their calculation proved correct, as Verstappen passed Hamilton for the lead on the penultimate lap of the race.

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2021 French Grand Prix lap chart

The positions of each driver on every lap. Click name to highlight, right-click to reset. Toggle drivers using controls below:

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2021 French Grand Prix race chart

The gaps between each driver on every lap compared to the leader’s average lap time. Very large gaps omitted. Scroll to zoom, drag to pan and right-click to reset. Toggle drivers using controls below:

2021 French Grand Prix lap times

All the lap times by the drivers (in seconds, very slow laps excluded). Scroll to zoom, drag to pan and toggle drivers using the control below:

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2021 French Grand Prix fastest laps

Each driver’s fastest lap:

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’36.40435
2Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’36.6930.28953
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1’36.9600.55619
4Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’37.1380.73452
5Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’37.4101.00644
6Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’37.4251.02152
7Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’37.6461.24244
8Charles LeclercFerrari1’37.6811.27743
9Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’37.8281.42444
10Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’37.9921.58846
11Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’38.1031.69944
12Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’38.3131.90950
13George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’38.3141.91052
14Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’38.3241.92045
15Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’38.6452.24133
16Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’38.7022.29836
17Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’38.8472.44351
18Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’38.9312.52719
19Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’38.9802.57618
20Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’39.3172.91334

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2021 French Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3
Max VerstappenC3 (18)C2 (14)C3 (21)
Lewis HamiltonC3 (19)C2 (34)
Sergio PerezC3 (24)C2 (29)
Valtteri BottasC3 (17)C2 (36)
Lando NorrisC3 (24)C2 (29)
Daniel RicciardoC3 (16)C2 (37)
Pierre GaslyC3 (17)C2 (36)
Fernando AlonsoC3 (18)C2 (35)
Sebastian VettelC2 (37)C3 (16)
Lance StrollC2 (34)C3 (19)
Carlos Sainz JnrC3 (17)C2 (36)
George RussellC3 (17)C2 (35)
Yuki TsunodaC3 (15)C2 (37)
Esteban OconC2 (28)C3 (24)
Antonio GiovinazziC2 (28)C3 (24)
Charles LeclercC3 (14)C2 (24)C3 (14)
Kimi RaikkonenC2 (33)C3 (19)
Nicholas LatifiC3 (18)C2 (34)
Mick SchumacherC3 (15)C2 (37)
Nikita MazepinC2 (31)C3 (21)

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2021 French Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Sergio PerezRed Bull29.68224
2Nicholas LatifiWilliams29.7750.09318
3Max VerstappenRed Bull29.8030.12118
4Daniel RicciardoMcLaren29.9510.26916
5George RussellWilliams30.0920.41017
6Max VerstappenRed Bull30.1230.44132
7Esteban OconAlpine30.2070.52528
8Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri30.2260.54415
9Lewis HamiltonMercedes30.2630.58119
10Lando NorrisMcLaren30.5310.84924
11Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari30.5340.85217
12Valtteri BottasMercedes30.5720.89017
13Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo30.5860.90428
14Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri30.7811.09917
15Charles LeclercFerrari30.7981.11614
16Nikita MazepinHaas30.9831.30131
17Lance StrollAston Martin30.9961.31434
18Sebastian VettelAston Martin31.0691.38737
19Fernando AlonsoAlpine31.2881.60618
20Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo31.3271.64533
21Charles LeclercFerrari31.3681.68638
22Mick SchumacherHaas31.4571.77515

2021 French Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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16 comments on “2021 French Grand Prix interactive data: lap charts, times and tyres”

  1. Without a SC or red flag to equalize the race, the gap between the Mercs/RBR and the rest of the teams seems staggering. It’s back to F1.5.

    1. Well I did it and it goes like this:

      WDC Points:
      143 Norris
      95 Leclerc
      85 Sainz
      79 Ricciardo
      71 Gasly
      56 Vettel
      42 Ocon
      41 Stroll
      40 Alonso
      22 Tsunoda
      17 Raikonnen
      15 Giovinazzi
      6 Russell
      0 Latifi, Schumacher, Mazepin

      WCC Points
      222 McLaren
      180 Ferrari
      97 AstonMartin
      93 AlphaTauri
      82 Alpine
      32 AlfaRomeo
      6 Williams
      0 Haas

      Norris & McL way ahead!!

      1. And the Medal classification Bernie style, also Norris well ahead:
        Norris: 4 wins
        Leclerc: 1 win 3 seconds
        Sainz: 1 win 2 thirds
        Vettel: 1 win 1 third
        Ricciardo: 2 seconds
        Gasly: 1 second
        Ocon: 1 third
        Alonso: 2 fourths
        Stroll: 1 fifth 3 sixths
        Tsunoda: 1 fifth 1 sixth
        Raikonnen: 1 seventh, 2 eighth, 1 ninth
        Giovinazzi: 1 seventh, 2 eighth, 1 tenth
        Russell: 1 eight
        Schumacher: 1 eleventh
        Latifi: 2 twelfth
        Mazepin: 1 twelfth

    2. Yes, was a huge gap, I think 50 sec between bottas (the weakest of f1) and norris (the strongest of f1,5), so on average 1 sec per lap, and I think when they were pushing ahead it was even more.

  2. And the 6,5 seconds gap between the pole time and the race FLAP says it all about the tyres

    1. @melanos No, fuel load difference causes the difference for the most part. Tyres, of course, have an impact too (as do other things), but mostly still down to the in-race refuelling ban since 2010.

      1. I don’t buy that. By the end of the race, when the FLAP is usually scored, the cars are pretty much empty of fuel, just like in quali.

        1. Verstappen did his fastest lap on lap 35 (18 before the end), so he had fresh tyres like in quali but 18 laps more worth of fuel.
          When we was at the end with fuel equal to the amount he had in quali, he had 18 laps old tyres, not fresh ones.

          1. That’s why I said

            when the FLAP is usually scored,

            this time it was unusually early. Anyway, if you look at Checo’s last lap, it`s in the same ballpark, well over 6 seconds more than poletime, and without fuel.

  3. Where did that lap time come from Perez at the end? Old hard tyres and he almost beat Max’s time on new softs, sure Max set that time with quite a bit of fuel but still.

    1. Well, last lap, so he didn’t have to nurse the tyres any longer. That’s what F1 is thanks to Pirelli (ok, following FIA requests) not a race but a nursing competition.

    2. They were pushing like crazy to get a 5 second gap just in case he got a penalty for going wide after the overtake on Valterri. Checo was keen to try and catch Lewis, which might have been possible if he had fought to hold off Max..

      1. Bad idea really, they’re throwing away every chance to win if they have their drivers fight, and in that case perez would also lose time, so also unlikely to catch hamilton. But makes sense about pushing for the penalty, explains why bottas was almost exactly 5 sec behind when I checked gaps towards the end.

  4. Bottas killed his tyres at the beginning of his second stint – I could understand his frustration about the strategy but you can’t help but think he could have done better. I doubt he could have kept second but a better driver could have held max a bit longer and that would have allowed Lewis the breathing space needed to win. It’s fine margins at the top level and he just doesn’t quite seem to have that final razor sharp edge

  5. I have an opinion
    21st June 2021, 14:32

    Perez, Norris & Aston Martin were on the ideal one-stop strategies. Max’s two-stop was not quite optimal (too long on first stint), but good enough to beat Mercedes’ compromised one-stop. Teams could not have predicted, based on previous races, that overtaking would be relatively easy and that the two-stop was actually the better strategy. Red Bull, unlike Mercedes and Ferrari, was able to adapt.

  6. You know a tyre is bad (soft) when NO ONE uses it during the race!

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