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F1 2021: Verstappen on pole for French Grand Prix, Hamilton in P2

Max Verstappen and Red Bull have dominated the French Grand Prix qualifying to snatch pole position from Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton will start from second.

F1 2021: Verstappen on pole for French Grand Prix, Hamilton in P2

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has claimed pole position for the 2021 French Grand Prix. At the Paul Ricard Circuit where Mercedes usually dominate, Lewis Hamilton will start from the front row in second with team-mate Valtteri Bottas in third. Sergio Perez was also in the mix as he will start from fourth in the other Red Bull.

F1 French Grand Prix Qualifying Q1 Results

A truncated first session with two red flags saw Verstappen and Red Bull set the pace. Yuki Tsunoda will start from the back of the pack after crashing out and causing the first red flag. Later in the session, Mick Schumacher spun out into the barrier at turn 6 to red flag the session once again. While Schumacher was not in the bottom five at the time the red flag was out meaning he was promoted to Q2. This left Nicolas Latifi, Kimi Raikkonen and Nikita Mazapin to be in the bottom five and out of the remainder of qualifying. Lance Stroll unable to set a credible lap in the session, his Aston Martin also did not make it into Q2 and will start from P19.

F1 French Grand Prix Qualifying Q2 Results

In Q2, Bottas topped the timesheets. But, the bottom five of this session included Esteban Ocon, Sebastian Vettel, Antonio Giovinazzi and George Russell. Although they failed to make it into Q3, they would all get free choice of tyres which might play well for them in the race. Mick Schumacher after his Q1 crash did not set a time in Q2 but will see his career-best start from P15.

F1 French Grand Prix Qualifying Q3 Results

Verstappen sat comfortably with a provisional pole with a 1:30.325 after the top ten had completed their first runs. With a few minutes remaining, both Red Bulls were out in front of the two Mercedes and all four drivers were trying to better themselves and outdo each other as lap times improved sector by sector. Verstappen came across the line first with a blistering lap with a 1:29.990. It turned out to be crucial for the Dutchman to claim pole as Hamilton improved his time. But the seven-time world champion was still +0.258 slower and had to settle for second best for the day.

Bottas will start third with Perez for company on the second row in fourth. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz will start his race from P5 with Pierre Gasly in the AlphaTauri in sixth. Charles Leclerc in the other Ferrari with start from seventh. Lando Norris was the fastest McLaren of the day who will start from P8. Fernando Alonso will start from P9 for Alpine as Daniel Ricciardo will start from P10 for McLaren.

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