The big question ahead of the Formula One French Grand Prix has been, who has the best, true pace? Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing may have taken pole position, but with second place changing multiple times in the closing moments of Q3, it raised some eyebrows. Will Mercedes have the better pace during the race? Will Verstappen be extra motivated to win after his disaster at Baku? Tomorrow, we’ll find out the answer.
Yuki Tsunoda started off the session by getting loose, spinning around, and ultimately ended up rear-ending the barriers. It brought out a red flag in the session just over three minutes into the session.
When things got back running, it appeared to be business as usual. There had been a lot of talk over the weekend about how Mercedes teammates Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton had swapped chassis this weekend in an effort to determine if there was something truly faulty with Bottas’ equipment. The Finnish driver had been at least two-tenths faster during every session, and he took the top spot in qualifying before Hamilton.
But the speed didn’t last. Both Red Bull Racing drivers usurped Bottas, and Hamilton also motored past him into second place.
The session ended early after Haas driver Mick Schumacher crashed into the barriers with less than 30 seconds remaining in the session. A red flag came out, ending all other opportunities for drivers to set fast laps.
16. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
17. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
18. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)
19. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
20. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
Carlos Sainz Jr. was the first driver to secure the top slot on the time charts, but it quickly leveled out in favor of Red Bull Racing—and that’s where the team remained for the rest of the session.
11. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
12. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
13. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
14. George Russell (Williams)
15. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
As teams swapped from medium tires to softs for the final qualifying session, it could have been anyone’s game. Red Bull may have been quick, but Mercedes had excellent performance on the soft tires.
Ultimately, it was Verstappen and Red Bull who came out triumphant, though Hamilton did set a quick time; Verstappen, though, was simply unbeatable.
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
- Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari)
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
- Lando Norris (McLaren)
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)