Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen on pole for French GP

Max Verstappen took pole position for the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard for Red Bull Racing on Saturday, the seventh round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season.

Verstappen will start ahead of the Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas after the one-hour qualifying session, which is split into three segments with five cars each being knocked out in Q1 and Q2 before the top-10 shootout of Q3.

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French Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen on pole from Hamilton

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 1'29.990  
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'30.248 0.258
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1'30.376 0.386
4 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 1'30.445 0.455
5 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1'30.840 0.850
6 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1'30.868 0.878
7 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'30.987 0.997
8 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 1'31.252 1.262
9 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 1'31.340 1.350
10 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1'31.382 1.392
11 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 1'31.736 1.746
12 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1'31.767 1.777
13 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1'31.813 1.823
14 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 1'32.065 2.075
15 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas    
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 1'33.062 3.072
17 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1'33.354 3.364
18 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 1'33.554 3.564
19 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 2'12.584 42.594
20 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri    

What happened in Q1?

Yuki Tsunoda caused an early red flag when he spun his AlphaTauri at Turn 1 and glanced the tyrewall with his rear wing. Tsunoda was unable to engage first gear, after the rear axle of the car shook violently as he slid backwards, and was out of the session just moments after it had begun.

When it resumed, Bottas set the initial pace at 1m31.669s, with Hamilton just 0.023s slower. Then Verstappen reset the bar at 1m31.001s – 0.668s faster than the Merc duo – with Sergio Perez backing him up in second, 0.559s off his teammate’s pace.

Hamilton stayed out for a second push lap, producing 1m31.237s to jump up to second, but was still 0.236s shy of Verstappen.

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A second red flag in the closing minute of the session, for Mick Schumacher crashing his Haas, meant that falling at the first hurdle were Williams’ Nicholas Latifi (by just 0.002s), Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and the second Haas of Nikita Mazepin, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll (who lost one laptime due to exceeding track limits and another due to hitting traffic), plus Tsunoda.

Schumacher made it through to Q2 for the first time, in 14th position, but wouldn’t be taking part due to a damaging both left-side corners of his car against the Armco.

French Grand Prix Q1 results: Verstappen fastest from Hamilton

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 4 1'31.001    
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 6 1'31.237 0.236 0.236
3 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 4 1'31.560 0.559 0.323
4 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 4 1'31.669 0.668 0.109
5 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 6 1'31.733 0.732 0.064
6 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 8 1'31.898 0.897 0.165
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 7 1'32.079 1.078 0.181
8 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 6 1'32.132 1.131 0.053
9 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 4 1'32.139 1.138 0.007
10 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 5 1'32.158 1.157 0.019
11 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 7 1'32.181 1.180 0.023
12 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 8 1'32.209 1.208 0.028
13 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 7 1'32.722 1.721 0.513
14 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 7 1'32.942 1.941 0.220
15 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 7 1'33.060 2.059 0.118
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 7 1'33.062 2.061 0.002
17 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 7 1'33.354 2.353 0.292
18 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 7 1'33.554 2.553 0.200
19 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 7 2'12.584 41.583 39.030
20 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 2      

What happened in Q2?

In Q2 the vast majority of the field went out on medium tyres, to avoid starting on the softs if they qualified for the top-10 shootout.

Perez set the benchmark at 1m30.971s, a tenth faster than Verstappen. Hamilton then jumped to the top on his second push lap, producing 1m30.959s – 0.012s faster than Perez.

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Bottas went fastest on his second medium-tyred run, his 1m30.735s being 0.053s faster than Hamilton’s 1m30.788s.

Knocked out at this point were Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), George Russell (Williams) and Schumacher.

French Grand Prix Q2 results: Bottas fastest from Hamilton

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 10 1'30.735    
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 14 1'30.788 0.053 0.053
3 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 10 1'30.971 0.236 0.183
4 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 10 1'31.080 0.345 0.109
5 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 13 1'31.146 0.411 0.066
6 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 16 1'31.353 0.618 0.207
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 12 1'31.542 0.807 0.189
8 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 11 1'31.549 0.814 0.007
9 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 14 1'31.567 0.832 0.018
10 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 15 1'31.615 0.880 0.048
11 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 10 1'31.736 1.001 0.121
12 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 12 1'31.767 1.032 0.031
13 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 13 1'31.813 1.078 0.046
14 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 13 1'32.065 1.330 0.252
15 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 7      

What happened in Q3?

In the top-10 shootout, Verstappen set the pace after the first run with a time of 1m30.325s, 0.386s ahead of Hamilton, followed by Perez and Bottas. Carlos Sainz was best of the rest for Ferrari.

On the second runs, Verstappen lowered the P1 time to 1m29.990s. Hamilton’s best effort was 1m30.248s, 0.258s down. Bottas grabbed third from Perez, with Sainz again leading the rest.

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Pierre Gasly lost his first laptime for exceeding track limits at Turn 6, but jumped back to sixth for AlphaTauri, ahead of Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Lando Norris (McLaren), Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren).

French Grand Prix Q3 results: Verstappen takes pole

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 16 1'29.990    
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 20 1'30.248 0.258 0.258
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 16 1'30.376 0.386 0.128
4 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 16 1'30.445 0.455 0.069
5 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 19 1'30.840 0.850 0.395
6 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 22 1'30.868 0.878 0.028
7 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 20 1'30.987 0.997 0.119
8 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 18 1'31.252 1.262 0.265
9 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 17 1'31.340 1.350 0.088
10 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 21 1'31.382 1.392 0.042

 

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