Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc takes F1 French GP pole after help from Carlos Sainz, as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were second and third.
The first part in F1 French GP qualifying at Paul Ricard was relatively smooth which saw Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc lead the way with a 1m31.727s lap with teammate Carlos Sainz in third behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the Top 3.
There was a spin for Williams’ Alexander Albon late in the session but the Thai still managed to make it in Q2. Haas’ Mick Schumacher jumped to Top 10 but track limits at Turn 3 meant his fast lap was deleted which knocked him out of Q1.
The German ended up 19th with a 1m33.701s, but neither Schumacher nor Haas were convinced about the deletion even though he did cross the white line. Another to be knocked out in 16th was AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly with a 1m33.439s lap.
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll in 17th set the same time as he complained of traffic, with Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu (1m33.674s) 18th, Schumacher 19th and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi (1m33.794s) 20th.
The second part in F1 French GP saw Ferrari’s Sainz set an early lap of 1m31.081s with teammate Leclerc going faster late in the session but still ending up 0.135s short from his teammate. He pipped F1 title rival Verstappen, though.
Late laps from several drivers pushed McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo (1m32.922s) out of the Top 10 in 11th, where he was only 0.086s short of making it into Q3. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon (1m33.048s) showed better pace than practice to be 12th.
Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas (1m33.052s) ended up 13th, with Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel (1m33.276s) in 14th as he fulfilled his quest of making it into Q2 for the weekend, while Williams’ Albon (1m33.307s) rounded out the Q2 runners in 15th.
The final part in F1 French GP qualifying saw Sainz help teammate Leclerc with slipstream on their first flying lap, which allowed the Monegasque to end up 0.008s quicker than Verstappen and secure provisional pole after his 1m31.209s lap.
The Spaniard did not set a lap time on his first run and returned to the track to help Leclerc again during the second and final run. That allowed the Monegasque to set a 1m30.872s lap to secure F1 French GP pole by 0.304s difference over Verstappen (1m31.176s).
Perez (1m31.335s) ended up a decent third after a difficult start to the weekend as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (1m31.765s) ended up fourth ahead of teammate George Russell (1m32.131s) who was pushed to sixth after McLaren’s Lando Norris (1m32.032s) jumped to fifth.
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso (1m32.552s) was seventh from AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda (1m32.780s), as both Sainz and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen did not set a lap time considering they have engine penalty.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 23, 2022