The Manor MP Motorsport driver and Pierre Gasly (Tech 1 Racing) have been fighting it out at the top of pile all season long, with the lead regularly changing hands between them.
The Frenchman left Hungary a single point in arrears and will be aiming to get back on top again on home ground near the village of Le Castellet.
The leading two need to keep a close eye on third-placed Esteban Ocon (ART Junior Team), who is far from out of the running. After tasting the joys of the podium in France last year, the Lotus F1 Junior Team driver will be giving it all he has got to secure that elusive first win of the campaign.
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Among the points nine times in 10 races, Oscar Tunjo (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Jake Dennis (Fortec Motorsports) have yet to give up hope either, though they need to win fast if they are to trouble the three frontrunners. The British driver has been joined at Fortec Motorsports by debutant Matt Parry, the current Formula Renault 2.0 NEC points leader and a member of the Caterham Racing Academy.
Among the 10 French drivers in action at the Paul Ricard is Matthieu Vaxiviere (Tech 1 Racing), who will be anxious to get in the points again after five scoreless races and climb back above Ignazio D’Agosto (KTR) and Nyck de Vries (Koiranen GP) in the standings. Fresh from his first win of the year at the Hungaroring, the Dutch driver, who is on McLaren’s Driver Development Programme, will be very keen to keep his comeback going, while team-mate Guilherme Silva (Koiranen GP) is also one to watch after scoring his first top-three finish here last year.
The weekend could see Tech 1 Racing clinch their second team title, their first having come in 2010. To do that the Toulouse-based outfit need to stretch their lead over Fortec Motorsports to 116 points by the end of Sunday’s race.
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