French GP 2019: Mercedes on front row with Hamilton’s pole: Leclerc’s Ferrari over half a second slower

Mercedes-AMG has again dominated qualifying this season as Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest time for Saturday’s qualifying to start on pole with team-mate Valtteri Bottas alongside him on the front row. Sebastian Vettel was only seventh fastest for Ferrari.

By: | Published: June 22, 2019 8:34 PM

2019 will be another season that Ferrari would like to forget as Mercedes have dominated the pack at Paul Ricard circuit in qualifying for the 2019 French Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton set a blistering time of 1:28.319 and will start from pole for the race on Sunday. His team-mate Valtteri Bottas will start alongside him after a scruffy qualifying lap which was two-tenths shy of Hamilton. Although, Bottas has a slight advantage over the Brit in Q1 and Q2.

While the race is won on Sunday, Ferrari would be worried as Charles Leclerc who’s lap time was over half a second slower than the pace set by Hamilton. Although, Leclerc has it better as he will start third on the second row of the grid. However, what is more, worrisome for Ferrari is that Sebastian Vettel will start from seventh after he abandoned his first qualifying run in Q3. On his first run, Vettel has a moment at Turn 1 and then later went off-track. On his second set of soft tyres, Vettel failed to set a strong lap on his second run.

Leclerc will have the Dutchman, Max Verstappen in the first of the Red Bulls alongside him on the second row. What is astonishing is that the third row was locked out by McLaren with Lando Norris who was just 0.009s slower than Verstappen in Q3 and will start in fifth ahead of his more experienced team-mate, Carlos Sainz. Daniel Ricciardo will start alongside Vettel’s Ferrari in eighth for Renault.

Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull will start from ninth and for the first time, Alfa Romeo made it to Q3 since Bahrain earlier this year as Antonio Giovinazzi will start the race in from 10th, after his best qualifying this season. For tomorrow’s race, all excluding Giovinazzi and Gasly will start on medium tyres due to the regulations that drivers in the top 10 must start on the same tyres which they used to set their fastest lap in Q2.

Alex Albon will start from 11th for Torro Rosso after being eliminated at the end of Q2 by Gasly. Kimi Raikkonen in the second Alfa failed to match the pace of his team-mate and could only manage 12th fastest. Behind the Funn, Nico Hulkenberg will start from 13th in the Renault with Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen behind him.

Romain Grosjean, Lance Stroll, George Russell, Robert Kubica were eliminated in Q1 as the final car of Danil Kvyat which will take penalties for exceeding the number of allocated power unit components. Kvyat will start right from the back of the grid for Torro Rosso.

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