Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen missed the 17th starting box in time.
Red Bullin Max Verstappen drove to the pole position in the seventh race of the F1 season in France on the Paul Ricard track.
“We didn’t get a single point today, but we have to finish the job tomorrow and take the 25 points we lost in Baku,” Verstappen said, referring to the tire failure in the final rounds of the previous race.
The second starting box was driven by Mercedes Lewis Hamilton 0.258 seconds slower than Verstappen. The third fastest was the teammate Valtteri Bottas (+0.386). Red Bullin Sergio Perez was the fourth.
“The weekend has been strong, definitely better than a couple of weeks ago. The last lap of the time trial felt good, ”Bottas said after the time trial.
“There’s going to be a good fight, and we love it,” Hamilton, for his part, stated.
Kimi Räikkönen driving was short on Saturday. He was looking for the top 15 qualifying time for the opening section when Haasin Mick Schumacher drove out, and the yellow flags ruined Räikkönen’s last attempt.
This resulted in a lousy 17th place and a loss for an Alfa Romeo teammate Antonio Giovinazzi, which drove to the 13th starting box.
The duo are in the World Championships at levels 1-1, but Giovinazzi has been on the neck in time.
Time trials was barely launched when Alpha Taurin Yuki Tsunoda drove out. The Japanese driver’s car was left in a dangerous place, and time trials were suspended. Eventually, Tsunoda’s time trial was really short when he couldn’t keep driving.
The fastest in the first section was Verstappen ahead of Hamilton, Perez and Bota.
In the second section, the order changed to Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen, Perez.
In the crucial third section, Verstappen was in a class of its own and took the pole position.
Verstappen leads the World Series after six races by 105 points. Hamilton is four points away.
Bottas is only sixth with 47 points. He has driven into third place three times.