Ferrari will bring a series of “small evolutions” to the French Grand Prix as it bids to close the gap to Formula 1 rivals Mercedes.

The Scuderia is yet to win a race in the opening seven rounds of the season but felt it had been robbed of victory at the Canadian Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel, who finished the race in first place, was handed a controversial penalty. As a result, Ferrari lost further ground to Mercedes in both world championships

Ferrari hopes introducing a series of updates at this weekend’s race in France will help it better understand its complex 2019 F1 car, which has performed inconsistently so far this campaign.

“Following Canada we definitely want to get back on track and go racing with our rivals once again,” team principal Mattia Binotto said.

“In France we will have a few small evolutions, elements that represent for us a useful step in defining the direction we will take in developing the car.

“What we will be bringing won’t be the solution to our problems, but the technical feedback we get from these evolutions will be important for the next steps we take.

Paul Ricard has been a tricky circuit for us last year and we know that this kind of track isn’t particularly favourable for our package, but nothing is impossible so we will be ready to do our best.”

Vettel, who has fallen 62 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton, will be looking to avoid a repeat of his clumsy collision with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas at the start of last year’s event at Paul Ricard.

“Last year’s French Grand Prix was our first at the Circuit Paul Ricard for many years, so returning this year we have more data to work with,” Vettel explained.

“The circuit has long straights and low-speed corners, although there is a wider range of corner speeds there. Most of the corners have been resurfaced since last year.

“We have a one-step harder tyre selection than in Montreal and it is likely to be another one-stop race. The weather can be unpredictable here and is often very hot and windy.

“Last year our race was compromised by the first lap incident but I think our car can have the pace to do quite well there.”

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