All eyes will be firmly fixed on Philippe Chiappe when championship rivalries resume this weekend at the UIM F1H2O Grand Prix of France on 5-7 July to see if the three-time world champion can finally end his Evian-Lac Leman jinx.
The Frenchman’s remarkable run of bad luck on Europe’s largest Alpine lake has seen him fail to go the distance three times and fail to point last year.
Despite the expected strong showings by the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China driver in qualifying, grabbing pole in 2015, starting from P3 the following year and P2 on his last two outings, on all but one occasion he has been thwarted by technical issues, a broken propeller his most recent heartbreak.
Adding to the pressure this time round is the fact that Chiappe is yet to bank his first points of the season after dropping out of the Grand Prix of Portugal from a podium challenging position with a fuel injector issue and now desperately needs a strong finish at the teams home Grand Prix to keep any chances of a championship challenge alive.
A win or a podium for either Chiappe or his inform CTIC teammate Peter Morin would also lay to rest another haunting statistic, the fact that no French driver has ever won or been on the podium at a French Grand Prix, Cedric Deguisne’s fourth place in Evian in 2016 matching the best result by a Frenchman, the late Francois Salabert doing the same in Paris in 1985.