Formula 1

Max Verstappen Takes Pole At The French Grand Prix

3 Mins read
Credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Max Verstappen is the man that will be starting on top come tomorrows French Grand Prix. Like the previous two races, qualifying brought us some red flag drama and some big sitters missing out.

Q1 – Red Flags Out Again

Mick Schumacher gets of Q1 for the first time in his Formula 1 career but under unfortunate circumstances for the grid. With just 22 seconds left of Q1, Schumacher crashed into the barriers at Turn seven after spinning on track. Race control decided to red flag and subsequently end the session. At the time, Schumacher was in fourteenth meaning he will be through to Q2 but unable to participate. 

Yuki Tsunoda also brought out a red flag early in the session. The young Japanese driver locked up at Turn one, spinning his car and hitting the barriers. He wasn’t able to get his car going and will be starting the race last in twentieth.

Lance Stroll was an unfortunate casualty of Schumacher’s crash. His first lap was deleted due to exceeding track limits and wasn’t able to complete his second lap due to the second red flag. Setting no contending lap time, he will be starting nineteenth. 

Also omitted from Q1 was Nikita Mazepin in eighteenth and Kimi Räikkönen in seventeenth. Nicholas Latifi was just 0.002 off getting through to Q2 but was ultimately knocked out by his Williams Racing team-mate George Russell and will be starting sixteenth.

Finishing the session on top was Verstappen.

Q2 – Russell Continues Q2 Glory

Schumacher did make it through to Q2 but was unable to partake due to his Q1 crash. He will be starting fifteenth.

Russell has made it through to Q2 in every race so far this year and continued doing so in France. He was one of the few drivers that used the soft tyres in hope that he could get in a lap that would put him through to Q3. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case and he’ll be starting the race in fourteenth.

Antonio Giovinazzi may have been able to outqualify his team-mate but didn’t make it to Q3 and will be starting thirteenth. He put on a set of soft compound tyres for his final run to attempt to jump into the top ten, but despite improving his time, he was unable to break into Q3.

Sebastian Vettel may have had the glory of a podium in Baku, but it doesn’t look as if the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team driver will be in with a chance of repeating it this weekend. He will be starting in twelfth. 

The last driver to get knocked out of Q2 was Esteban Ocon. He’ll surely be disappointed with himself starting from eleventh at his home grand prix, particularly after showing strong pace in all three practice sessions.

Valtteri Bottas finished Q2 fastest. After the earlier threat of Verstappen, the Mercedes looked strong going into Q3.

Lando Norris didn’t take a second flying lap. His team advised him not to and luckily, he had already done a lap good enough to get him through to the top ten shootout. 

Q3 – Red Bull On Top

Verstappen gained his fifth career pole at Circuit Paul Ricard. Lewis Hamilton was looking strong during his flying lap, but Verstappen was able to set purple sectors in Sector’s 2 and 3, giving him the upper hand. 

Hamilton will be starting second with his team-mate Bottas just behind him in third. 

It looked as if Red Bull Racing would be set for a front row lockout with Sergio Pérez setting a great time but the Mercedes’ leaped him and he had to settle for fourth.

Carlos Sainz Jr. was the better of the two Scuderia Ferrari’s. He’ll be starting in fifth with team-mate Charles Leclerc in seventh. Pierre Gasly has been the standout man of the season so far. The AlphaTauri driver will be starting sixth and will be hoping to beat Sainz Jr. off the mark. 

Both McLaren F1 Team drivers made it through to Q3 for the first time since the Spanish Grand Prix. Norris will be starting eighth with Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the top ten with tenth.

Fernando Alonso will be starting in ninth, a good result for him to be starting tomorrow.

Qualifying Results

Pos#DriverNat.TeamQ1Q2Q3Laps
133Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing Honda1:31.0011:31.0801:29.99016
244Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:31.2371:30.7881:30.24820
377Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:31.6691:30.7351:30.37616
411Sergio PérezMEXRed Bull Racing Honda1:31.5601:30.9711:30.44516
555Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow1:32.0791:31.1461:30.84019
610Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:31.8981:31.3531:30.86822
716Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow1:32.2091:31.5671:30.98720
84Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1:31.7331:31.5421:31.25218
914Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team1:32.1581:31.5491:31.34017
103Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1:32.1811:31.6151:31.38221
1131Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team1:32.1391:31.73610
125Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:32.1321:31.76712
1399Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing Orlen1:32.7221:31.81313
1463George RussellGBRWilliams Racing1:33.0601:32.06513
1547Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team1:32.9427
166Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:33.0627
177Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing Orlen1:33.3547
189Nikita MazepinRUSUralkali Haas F1 Team1:33.5547
1918Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team2:12.5847
2022Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda2
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