Though the Danish DAMS driver has gone without a win since topping the podium at Spa-Francorchamps, he has continued to build his championship lead.
Following five successive podium finishes, the McLaren Young Driver Development Programme member can take a major step towards the title in France, something his nearest pursuer Stoffel Vandoorne (Fortec Motorsports) will be intent on preventing. The Belgian was a winner here in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 last season.
Four other drivers are still in with a mathematical chance of landing the title. Winners at Hungaroring, Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) and Nico Muller (International Draco Racing) will be looking to follow up in France, while Nigel Melker (Tech 1 Racing), who is tied on points with the Portuguese in third place, will be banking on the impressive reliability he has shown all season long. One man looking to regain third after a largely luckless weekend in Hungary is Will Stevens (P1 by Strakka Racing).
Since the creation of World Series by Renault and the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2005, France is the only country to have tasted success here in each and every season, a run that Arthur Pic (AV Formula) and Norman Nato (DAMS) will have the task of extending as they bid to have the Marseillaise sound loud and proud for the first time this season.
Among the other drivers looking to impress at the Paul Ricard will be Carlos Sainz (Zeta Corse), who posted the fastest lap in collective testing in Budapest and climbed on to the podium here in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 two years ago, and Sergey Sirotkin (ISR), whose aim is score a maiden victory before taking the step up to Formula One. Meanwhile, fellow Russian Daniil Move (SMP Racing by Comtec) has his sights set on repeating last year’s third place in race one.