French GP: Verstappen beats Mercedes duo to take pole after double red flag
The Dutchman had it under control eventually.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen took F1 pole in French GP from Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas after double red flag stoppages.
The first part of F1 French GP qualifying was disrupted with a red flag moments after it started after a spin for AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda. The Japanese driver's rear bumped the barriers while wobbling hugely. He tried to re-start, but he couldn't.
It ended his qualifying there as drivers hurried on to set a lap time once the session was green. The Turn 6 track limits caught out Aston Martin's Lance Stroll after his first quick lap, which left him with no time ahead of the crucial second running.
As the drivers were on their fast lap in their final run, Haas' Mick Schumacher crashed out to cause another red flag and end the session. He lost the rear to tap the barrier, but the German made it into Q2 before the crash happened.
At the front, it was Red Bull's Max Verstappen leading the way from Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, who did a second lap on his tyre, while the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez was third. The red flag cost Stroll a place in Q2 after he was unable to set a time.
He couldn't get going on his first lap of the final run and it was too late with the red flag, which also caught out Williams' Nicholas Latifi (1m33.062s), Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen (1m33.354s) and Haas' Nikita Mazepin (1m33.554s) - all knocked out in Q1.
The second part of F1 French GP qualifying had everyone on the medium tyres baring Williams' George Russell, with Schumacher not making it, naturally. At the front, it was a Mercedes 1-2 after Valtteri Bottas improved on his second run to top the session.
Hamilton was second with Perez in third as McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo was safe already despite the late try on the soft tyre. Missing out on a Top 10 was Alpine's Esteban Ocon (1m31.736s) in 11th with Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel (1m31.767s) just behind him.
Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi (1m31.813s) switched to the soft tyres for his last run but he only managed 13th, with Williams' Russell (1m32.065s) 14th to round out the Q2 runners, where Schumacher was classified 15th.
The final part in F1 French GP qualifying had McLaren's Ricciardo and Alpine's Alonso completed their first run on the medium tyres to save the soft for their final run, while AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly had his fast lap deleted due to track limits at Turn 6.
At the front, Verstappen took provisional pole with a 1m30.325s lap, as he had Hamilton covered by 0.386s, where Perez was pushed to third and Bottas only fourth. The second run saw even faster lap from the front runners, especially the Dutchman.
Verstappen did a 1m29.990s lap to take F1 French GP pole ahead of the Mercedes duo Hamilton (1m30.248s) and Bottas (1m30.376s), with Perez (1m30.45s) just behind in fourth. The Dutchman was the only one to dip into the 1m29s marker, beating the Brit by 0.258s.
Ferrari's Carlos Sainz (1m30.840s) did well in fifth from Gasly (1m30.868s), who had to give it all on his one lap, as he led the other Ferrari of Leclerc (1m30.987s). McLaren's Lando Norris (1m31.252s) was eighth from Alonso (1m31.340s) and Ricciardo (1m31.382s).
[Image courtesy: Red Bull Content Pool] [Note: This story was written on FormulaRapida.net]