F1 French GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP3 & Qualifying
By: James Newbold, Haydn Cobb
Here's the full report on an enthralling French GP qualifying: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-french-gp-verstappen-beats-hamilton-to-secure-pole-/6585860/
Verstappen on his French GP pole: "So far it has been a really positive weekend at a track where it has been a bit difficult for us. So to get pole position is really nice. No points are scored today but it is a great day and we have to finish it off tomorrow to get 25 points that we lost in Baku."
That is Verstappen's fifth F1 pole position of his career and first since the 2021 opener in Bahrain.
Sainz takes the 'best of the rest' honours in fifth place for Ferrari beating AlphaTauri's Gasly and the other Ferrari of Leclerc. Norris takes P8 with Alonso P9 and Ricciardo P10.
Bottas had momentarily jumped up to second place before he was displaced by Hamilton, with Perez also shuffled back late on to qualify in fourth place.
It is - Hamilton manages a 1m30.248s but it is only good enough for second place - so Verstappen takes pole position for the French GP!
Final lap time and Gasly jumps up to P4 for now, ahead of Leclerc and Bottas. The rest are charging around now so here we go!
"How was the out-lap compared to Max?" Hamilton asks over his team radio. "Pace is similar," is the response.
Three minutes of Q3 to go and it is almost time for the final runs. Advantage Verstappen by a useful margin but can he maintain it?
TV replays show Gasly going off the track at Turn 6 - by a few centimetres - but rules are rules so he loses that lap.
Verstappen is on provisional pole with a 1m30.325s, with Hamilton taking second place with a 1m30.711s. That's a big margin to find - 0.386s to be precise.
Gasly loses his first timed effort for track limits at Turn 6, while Verstappen has been reported to have been off at Turn 2, but so far hasn't lost his lap.
The Mercedes and Red Bull drivers stay in the garage for the opening minute of Q3, letting the rest battle for position at the start, before joining the action. Verstappen is at the front of that train from Perez, Bottas and then Hamilton.