Paul Ricard, 2021

Rate the race: 2021 French Grand Prix

2021 French Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the French Grand Prix.

RaceFans has held polls on every F1 race since 2008 to find out which fans thought of each round of the season.

Join in the latest poll and give your verdict on the race: 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest. Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

What were the best and worst moments of the race? What was the main thing you’ll remember about it? Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2021 French Grand Prix out of 10

  • 1 (1%)
  • 2 (0%)
  • 3 (0%)
  • 4 (0%)
  • 5 (0%)
  • 6 (3%)
  • 7 (13%)
  • 8 (38%)
  • 9 (29%)
  • 10 (15%)

Total Voters: 230

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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77 comments on “Rate the race: 2021 French Grand Prix”

  1. As a car race? A 6 at best. As a piece of pure dramatic tension? 10.

    1. Agreed. Just shows all we need is unpredictability, tension and strategy variance.

    2. Teah agreed, artificial drama from those godawful chewing gum Pirellis. But pretty good drama anyway

    3. Very true, without the unexpected tyre degradation would have been an utter snore fest around a totally anonymous track.

      Reply moderated
  2. Great race. After Baku this was everything that is good with these tyre regs.

    1. Agreed.
      Pass at the end for the lead. Until three laps to go I thought Hamilton would hold on.
      Five or more intense laps after the first pit stops with Hamilton all over the back of Verstappen.
      Mclarens overhauling the Ferraris.

  3. I enjoyed the French GP for once! :D

    1. Indeed, that was certainly the best race we have gotten at Paul-Ricard in the modern area @cgturbo

      1. Not that it had a lot of competition, ahah, the last race before this one, think it was 2019 due to covid in 2020, was a snorefest!

  4. finally redbull learnt their lesson

  5. Screw it I’m giving it an 8. Very very enjoyable

    1. Yeah, a solid eight.

      Nothing wrong with it, but nothing exceptional about it either.

  6. The other kind of a great F1 race.

  7. 9/10 for me. Didn’t have a lot of wheel-to-wheel battles, but that was nail-biting stuff. More of that please! 2021 so far has been one of the best seasons we’ve had since 2012. So happy we’ve got two races in the next two weeks now.

    1. Similar for me @mashiat, there were a few of those battles in the midfield, but a lot of the changes were tyre-advantage/drs -> quickly over once in range, which is a slight detraction, though the build up to the moves was worth it on the whole and there was a lot of stint-to-stint change of power balance in the mid-/backfield, so not a perfect 10, but 9/10 seems deserved to me.

      1. Agreed. However, TV direction could have shown a lot more of those.

        On-track battles involving the Alpines were almost C·A·R·T levels of good, because that is the obviously different car with more than marginal differences in performance relative to the others.

  8. A surprisingly exciting race for Circuit Paul Ricard.

    1. I am surpised! I don’t like the track but if it was like this every year, I would warn up to it quickly.

  9. I never thought I’d see such a cracking race at this track. What a fight we have for this championship. You really have to go back to 2012 for a fight this close between 2 drivers at different teams. A thoroughly enjoyable season thus far.

  10. 9. A classic race full of tension and good overtakes for the lead and all the way down the field.

  11. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
    20th June 2021, 15:38

    8/10

    A really solid race and after a while we saw a battle including all 4 top cars, without any of them having issue.

    Races at Paul Ricard were pretty poor, but the slight changes on some apexes + the severe degradation gave us a great strategic race.

    As you might have understood by my ratings,i prefer a strategic race (Spain, France) over a hectic one(Baku).

  12. “Simply lovely!”

  13. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    20th June 2021, 15:40

    2 teams battling for the win, different strategies, tense finish. 9 for me.

  14. I think that was the best race we will probably see at Paul Ricard!

  15. Lesson of the day: Don’t jugde a track because it had one bad race.

    8. Very similar race to Spanish GP but it had more action

  16. About time Paul Ricard was entertaining.
    Imagine if we had Rate the Race for F2 and F3.

  17. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    20th June 2021, 15:43

    This track is still a characterless car park and most of the racing was a little dull, but the tension was pretty great. The battle for the lead – both on track but strategically too was quite interesting. So not the most exciting in terms of ‘action’ but it wasn’t terrible to watch.

  18. Still sweaty and shaking hands

  19. Not really a good race (you really cannot have a good race with Pirelli) but supremely enjoyable, for me the most enjoyable since Brazil 2007. Six out of ten

    1. Wow, for the best race in 14 years that’s a very low score!

  20. I SWEAR YOU’LL NEVER SEE ANYTHING LIKE THIS EVER AGAIN (at Paul Ricard)

    1. This is not Sochi or Yas Marina😉

    2. Did you know that before 13th May 2012, Bundesliga also had this kind of dramatic title decider on 19th May 2001?

  21. Easy 9 for me. I was disappointed that rain wasn’t going to play a factor, but what a pleasant, tension-filled surprise this race turned out to be.

    1. Yes, this could’ve got a 10 with rain!

  22. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    20th June 2021, 15:52

    Gave it a solid 9, best French GP I’ve seen. Max and Lewis are heavyweights.

  23. Great race, this was the first race for a while I was thinking of skipping and not watching live due to how boring the previous French GPs have been, but I’m glad I decided to watch it in the end. Probably best race of the season so far for me. Final pass from Max on Lewis felt a little bit anti climatic, I thought Lewis would’ve defended a bit harder than that, but maybe had nothing left in the tyres by then.

    1. He said, not sure if the article was already up at the time, that he didn’t want to go to the inside since there were marbles and he didn’t want to make tyres worse (they were pretty dead).

  24. Intrigue till the very end. Payback from Red Bull. One can only feel bad for Bottas. He was doing a fantastic job on the mediums and the team could have used the second car more strategically. Mclaren looked solid while Ferrari faded. Gasly doing a fantastic job. Aston Martin seems to have a strategy for every race now to go long on hard tyres with the car lacking qualifying pace.
    Rated 9/10

  25. 7/10, tense, but really Red Bull were a bit faster and the race panned out with some tension only after Max’s first corner mistake and Mercedes’s weird decision to give Bottas the undercut on Max – and Max the undercut on Lewis. Go figure that one. Perez is the screw in the works for Mercedes now. They should have gone for an aggressive two-stop with Bottas as he looked like he had pace this race and would have caused Red Bull more problems.

  26. A solid 8 for me. An incredible +14 for Paul Ricard

  27. An 8 from me, and I seem to be giving most races an 8 in this fantastic season.

  28. 6.
    I have no idea what a 10 is for a lot of people here, but if this was an 8 or 9 I don’t know what you were watching.
    We clearly have very different points of reference.

    1. A 10 for me needs to have action for most of the race, which normally doesn’t lack in the midfield but also at the front, unpredictability, and rain, lots of it!

  29. Hated the end result, but that was absolutely the best possible race from Paul Ricard. That’s a 9 from me.

  30. Can’t help but feel like people are over-rating this one. Personally DRS is slowly draining my interest in F1. I just don’t find even a late-race pass for the lead exciting when it’s basically artificial. I don’t mean to be unnecessarily critical, but I’m finding the sport less and less compelling and it’s a pity.

    1. Just rewatch the race onboard with Lando. I reckon he made more passes outside of DRS than with it. I was sure there was going to be contact at least once!

  31. a solid 9+
    Great battle between the best drivers.
    Rightful winner
    Mercedes beaten at their own tactics
    tension till the end

    neg:
    the track
    bottas sacrificed

    1. bottas sacrificed

      Was he? He was given first pit (the undercut). Then he seemed to ask to mirror whatever Max and Lewis did for the second stop. Which would imply missing the chance to undercut Max a second time. At the same time, he was calling for two stops (as were Max and Lewis – who asked Mercedes to be quicker at pitting him second time round). So I’m unsure whether his preference was overruled or not. But should Bottas have two-stopped whatever? Definitely.

      1. During the chase period, Mercedes had the upper hand. Bottas even looked faster then Lewis (but can you imagine ” Lewis, this is james”?)
        At that moment Mercedes could throw every tactic the could think off in the game.
        Splitting tactics between Bottas and Lewis would have resulted in an almost guaranteed Mercedes win.
        Perez, did not played any part then.
        But a Bottas win.. Unimaginable. So they sacrified Bottas to hold up max.

        1. Not entirely accurate. Mercedes pitted Bottas first to get Verstappen to pit, maybe expecting Hamilton to be able to push a few laps more, only to find that the strategy backfired with the undercut more than they were expecting. So Hamilton lost the lead to Max and ended up within striking range of Bottas. After that was Bottas faster than Hamilton? I’m not sure. I think they were evenly paced, only Hamilton dropped back to cool the tyres a few times and then reapproached Verstappen, but had no way past. I agree that 2-stopping Bottas early could maybe have seen him win, presuming he executed the strategy well. But that’s a presumption. Worth tying in hindsight given he was only 4th anyhow. But Mercedes are always reluctant to split strategies and the driver in the lead is disfavoured. They’d already made one mistake with Hamilton, so I guess they’d have been even more reluctant to favour Bottas twice (even if accidentally).

          1. *in case the driver in the lead is disfavoured

          2. but with the 1st stop I don’t think Mercedes thought the strategy backfired, till it was too late:
            After the pitstop, when Hamilton was still driving in the pit-lane, they told him that Max would end up 1,5 seconds behind him. At pit-exit they told Hamilton that he was along-side…
            they didn’t realize

        2. Ahahaa, that’s so fun (lewis, it’s james) that no, I can’t imagine it, would be weird to give a radio like this also since hamilton is far ahead points-wise.

  32. You can have a great race without tons of overtaking. So tense all the way through. How Hamilton kept those tires alive is beyond me. Merc dropped the ball on that strat though. Shaping up to be a championship to remember, whoever wins

    1. How Hamilton kept those tires alive is beyond me.

      and Perez even did better!!
      Two or three additional laps and he would have passed Lewis.

      1. Yes, both impressive, perez is really showing red bull that he’s what they needed, not albon or gasly, and this is what I’ve been saying for a while: stop only getting people from red bull academy if you have no capable drivers, they had drivers like alonso who would’ve come at the time they were dealing with albon and gasly!

  33. Can’t understand why so many hate Max. 22% for Driver of the Day, are you kidding me, he was close to 20 seconds back and had to pass so many cars to make that strategy work. What a great drive. Lewis almost did it, he showed some pretty good pace late. His mistake running wide cost him 2 seconds with 4 or 5 to go and after that he seemed to concede. Even Nico Rosberg was like, what no attempt to keep the lead, very unlike Lewis.

    1. Well, best car plus catching up his teammate who let him pass, then HAM and BOT who were basically on used 195/75/15 winter tyres.

    2. Don’t forget there are a lot of fans of Ricciardo
      and many useless (queer) fanatics of Russeell (who in my humble opinion is hugely overrated spoilt kid, I wish Mercedes withdraw before he gets to drive the car again)

      1. That’s unfair, let him have 5 races in merc, then we’ll see what you’ll say!

    3. Verstappen recovered now, he has around 2,5x more votes than at the time of your comment!

    4. But if Lewis had tried harder to defend, he would have finished his tyres and sacrificed hopes of re-passing later. It was a calculation not a capitulation.

  34. Best French GP since Magny Cours.

  35. Amazing race. Best one I can remember at the top of my head. I give it a 10. No safety car or red flags to sully the purity of the racing, and 3-4 leaders going at it from start to finish, both on track and via strategy. Up and down the field too. The track allowed passing, but it was also possible to defend. Even allowed for different strategies.

  36. 10/10 for that defeated look on Toto Wolff’s face

    1. Ahah, that’s a good reason for a 10!

  37. 1 (2%)
    2 (1%)
    3 (0%)
    4 (1%)
    5 (0%)
    6 (3%)
    7 (11%)
    8 (39%)
    9 (30%)
    10 (14%)
    Total Voters: 188

    Went for 9, I don’t think it was a perfect race, certainly an interesting chase from verstappen which made it an exciting end, plenty of midfield battles, and some tension at the front of the race even earlier, example when bottas tried to undercut verstappen or verstappen managed to do that to hamilton and then had to defend with a slower car on hard tyres, and let’s not forget perez chasing and overtaking bottas too.

    1. Definitely great for a paul ricard race since they came back here, usually it produces terrible races, like 4-5\10.

      1. @esploratore1 I gave it a 10, just because it “usually produces terrible races”, as you say. No SC, no rain and it was well action and tense packed everywhere. On-track, strategies, everything. I follow F2-F3/GP2-GP3 series for years, and this is one of the rare cases that the F1 race produced more tension. And in which track? The one that almost everybody said that it will be boring. This makes it even better. So, we have to start reconsidering, if there are indeed boring tracks or the dominance of Mercedes the last few years made these tracks look boring to us.

  38. Kami_the_fox
    21st June 2021, 2:33

    This isn’t racing, it’s the tyre saving championships. – Awful.

    Reply moderated
  39. Yes the duel was dramatic, as was the tragic tale of Bottas’ tyres. Also Lando is obviously becoming the World Champion of the midfield, which is a good story, and George left Nic in the distance again, so hooray for his prospects. I was also pleased that the Astons clawed their way into the points with their super-long first stint. But it wasn’t a great race in general, and the track is awful, like a chalk drawing in a car park. I mourn the loss of Magny-Cours, a true classic. People used to criticise it for not being as good as Silverstone, which followed it in the calendar, but compared it to Paul Ricard it’s animal vs vegetable.

  40. No idea how people rate this among the likes of Brazil 08 or Canada 11. It was a decent race at best, hardly better than average. Good for Paul Ricard standards but that’s not what the voting is meant to be.

    5.5/10

  41. 8/10.

    Much better than expected for Paul Ricard. The battle for the win was always a factor right to the end. A tense and strategic race. The actual racing on track was a little average as with DRS the passes were nearly always a foregone conclusion owing to what condition the drivers tyres were in. So I could not give it higher than an 8.

    I thought Merc messed up on strategy. They should have stopped at least one car as soon as Red Bull stopped Max. Probably Lewis. I think RBR out thought Merc this time and Max delivered what was required.

  42. Track has nothing wrong except being incredibly ugly from tv. The drs ruins everything though that has nothing to do with this race itself. Lots of strategy, good racing.

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