France driver Quentin Delapierre has set out his key intentions ahead of his team’s home event in Saint-Tropez, with more aggressive starts at the top of the list.

Speaking ahead of the France Sail Grand Prix next weekend, Delapierre admitted it ‘hadn’t been a dream start’ to the season, with France currently sitting in 8th on the overall Championship leaderboard. The lackluster performances of Chicago and LA surprised fans after France’s impressive third season, which saw the team finish in fourth overall behind Emirates GBR.

Season 3 // France driver Quentin Delapierre at LA press conference

But, Delapierre said, the end of Season 3 proved ‘exhausting’ for the entire team, resulting in a loss of momentum when Season 4 got underway so soon after San Francisco’s Season Grand Final.

He reflected on the performances of Chicago and Los Angeles, pointing specifically to the ‘small starting box’ of LA, and his failure to execute effective starts. Looking ahead to Saint-Tropez, one of his key aims is to be ‘more aggressive’ on the start line and ‘put the team in good shape.’

Season 4 // France F50 underway in Los Angeles

France had the second slowest starts in Los Angeles, with a starting speed of 25.6 km/h - slightly faster than Germany’s 24.1 km/h, the slowest of the fleet. Positioning was also poor, with France placed an average of 31.7m from the line at the gun, just ahead of Switzerland’s average of 47.1m. This resulted in an average Mark 1 position of 7, which fell to 7.6 by the time the team crossed the finish line.

The addition of a 10th boat on the start line has ‘made a difference’, Delapierre says, with ‘an increased intensity’. But, he says, the team’s ‘strategy is not looking at the rest of the fleet’, but focusing on itself. “I want to recover the confidence and trust in the strategy and our skills on the start, so that it doesn’t matter if it’s intense or not,” he says. He added that the goal is to ‘trust the timing and people on board to close the gap and reach the line at full speed.’

Season 4 // France SailGP Team // Quentin at wheel on day 1

In an effort to rise up the leaderboard, Delapierre has made a fundamental change to his crew line-up heading into Saint-Tropez, replacing flight controller Francois Morvan with former Swiss flight controller Jason Saunders. The decision was made over ‘many months’, Delapierre said.

Season 4 // United States Sail Grand Prix Chicago // France splashdown in Chicago

“I’m just trying to follow my feelings and have no regrets - it’s a super high level sports league, so when you have to make you choice, you have to just trust yourself.” But he is confident Saunders will bring something new to the team when racing gets underway on September 9. "I’m not saying it will be immediately a dream, but I think it’s the right call,” he said.

Read the full interview on The Dock.