Verstappen finished 1: 29.990 for the second pole position of the season. Hamilton, who is losing four points to him in the second place in the standings after six races so far, was defeated by 258 thousandths of a second by the Dutch pilot.
The Red Bull driver, who also started from the first place in the inaugural race of the year in Bahrain, ended Hamilton’s dominance in France. The seven-time world champion at the Le Castellet circuit won the qualification and the race in 2018 and 2019. Last year there was no race due to a pandemic.
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Valtteri Bottas from Mercedes took third place with a loss of 386 thousandths to Verstappena and Sergio Pérez from Red Bull was fourth. The winner of the previous two qualifications, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, finished seventh.
“Pole position is great, mainly because we are doing well on the track, where we usually don’t do well,” said Verstappen. “But the main thing will come tomorrow, when we have to get 25 points, which we lost in Baku,” he recalled last race, in which a defect deprived him of victory.
“So far, it’s a very demanding weekend. Mainly because we can’t get the power we need from the car. And we’ve made a lot of changes here since the first practice,” said Hamilton, 36. “The racing pace of the Red Bull is a tenth or two faster, but we will try to attack after the start and then it could be an interesting tactical battle. I think it could even rain tomorrow,” the British pilot added.
|Qualification for the French GP, F1 race at Le Castellet:|
|1. Verstappen (Niz./Red Bull) 1:29,990|
|2. Hamilton (Brit./Mercedes) -0,258|
|3. Bottas (Fin./Mercedes) -0.386|
|4. Pérez (Mex./Red Bull) -0.455|
|5. Sainz (Šp./Ferrari) -0,850|
|6. Gasly (Fr./Alpha Tauri) -0,878|
|7. Leclerc (Mon./Ferrari) -0,997|
|8. Norris (Brit./McLaren) -1,262|
|9. Alonso (Šp./Alpine) -1,350|
|10. Ricciardo (Austr./McLaren) -1,392.|