Max Verstappen Takes pole in France
Written by Tanishka Vashee, Edited by Aiden Hover
After topping the timesheets in FP3, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen carried forward his momentum to take pole in today’s Qualifying session. The seven-time world champion, Sir Lewis Hamilton managed to set a lap time only good enough to be second – whilst Valtteri Bottas, who was looking strong at the start of the session, qualified third.
Q1 got off to a chaotic start with Yuki Tsunoda crashing into the barriers at turn 2, just three minutes into the session. His collision called for a red flag and will see him start the race P20. Lance stroll, who was on a decent first lap, threw it away due to a track limits violation at turn 6. Mick Schumacher, driving for Haas, was next into the barriers with just 22 seconds left on the clock. His collision called for another red flag and meant that many on flying laps were forced to abandon – including the aforementioned Lance Stroll who as a result failed to set a time. Mick managed to make it into Q2 but his crash resulted in Nicholas Latifi qualifying P16, Kimi Raikkonen P17, Nikita Mazepin P18 and Lance Stroll P19.
Q2 ended with Daniel Ricciardo on the cusp, barely making it to Q3, at the cost of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. Followed by Sebastian Vettel for Aston Martin in 12th, Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi in 13th, Williams’ George Russell in 14th and Mick Schumacher who was unable to set a time due to his Q1 crash. Lando Norris made it into Q3, not without issue, however, as he was caught out by the tricky turn 6 track limits.
Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly was absolutely flying until his time too, was deleted at turn 6. Three drivers losing their time at Turn 6 could once again spark the conversation around track limits. The Frenchman still qualified an impressive P6, followed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in P7. His teammate, Carlos Sainz, will be starting P5, behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in P4. The McLaren Boys’ Lando And Daniel qualified P8 and P10 respectively, while Alpine’s Fernando Alonso qualified P9.