Charles Leclerc has held Ferrari’s pole position at Paul Ricard since 1990, while rival Max Verstappen will join him in the front row for the 2022 French Grand Prix.
With the sun blazing on Paul Ricard’s circuit, Leclerc topped the first quarter ahead of Verstappen while Carlos Sainz, who will start from behind for a penalty shootout, won the second quarter with a stunning lap.
In the third quarter, Leclerc saw Sainz enjoy a drag on both flying laps, and Monegasque improved to 1m and 30.872sec to keep Verstappen 0.304sec behind. Sergio Perez finished third, 0.159sec behind his teammate, while Lewis Hamilton improved to P4 in his last career.
Lando Norris managed to split a Mercedes in P5 in favor of McLaren dropping George Russell to P6.
FP3: Verstappen leads the Ferrari duo in training for the final French Grand Prix
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing
Fernando Alonso starts seventh, just behind Norris – Alpine level and McLaren points ahead of the French Grand Prix – while Yuki Tsunoda qualified eighth.
Sainz sacrificed Q3 to take the P9 for Ferrari, but thanks to engine penalties, he will start at the back with Kevin Magnussen, who arrived in Q3 but didn’t come out in the session.
Daniel Ricciardo missed Q3 by less than a tenth of a second in P11, while Esteban Ocon qualified for P12 on the road for Alpine at home. Valtteri Bottas finished 13th in qualifying, leaving Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel 14th, and Alex Albon’s Williams 15th.
Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll (16th and 17th places respectively) lost in the second quarter by 0.06sec, while Zhou Guanyu’s over-exaggeration put him in 18th place in favor of Alfa Romeo. Mick Schumacher’s short overtaking of the track bound dropped him to 19th and out of the first quarter, while Nicholas Latifi was 20th.
With penalties from Sainz and Magnussen, of course, those eliminated in Q2 and Q3 will see a rise in the grid for Sunday’s race.
Q1 – Verstappen leaves time on the table as Leclerc sets the standard first
With the heat and wind speed soaring, it was clear that qualifying would be a huge challenge for the field in France.
Charles Leclerc finished first on his first flying lap, leaving Max Verstappen in second with 0.164secs, and although the Dutchman tried another lap, he didn’t improve – even though his second sector was well above Leclerc and perhaps an ominous sign. ..
Carlos Sainz was third for more than half a second, and the Scuderia driver started from behind with penalty kicks. Sergio Perez was fourth, 0.627 seconds behind Red Bull’s lead, while Lando Norris was the last driver to finish second in fifth for McLaren.
Despite his rear start to the new power unit components, Kevin Magnussen finished sixth in his only first-quarter career, beating Fernando Alonso in the Alps – who enjoyed a strong Verstappen pull – by 0.063sec.
Valtteri Bottas finished eighth for Alfa Romeo, leaving Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ninth and George Russell 10th – both 1.3 seconds off the lead.
Having missed the opportunity to run on soft tires in FP3, Sebastian Vettel impressed Aston Martin in 11th, leaving Esteban Ocon 12th in the Alpine and Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri in 13th.
Daniel Ricciardo made it to Q2 in P14 although he was turned off his second run for the track boundary. Alex Albon ignored his turn in Turn 8 to take P15 for Williams.
On the 16th, Pierre Gasly was knocked out in the first quarter of the house by just 0.06sec ahead of Albon, having set at the exact same time as Lance Stroll the Aston Martin driver was frustrated by the traffic in P17.
A harsh shot of exaggeration heading into Mistral Street saw Zhou Guanyu finish 18th, and Mick Schumacher deleted lap time to send him from P11 to P19 and exited in the first quarter – with Nicholas Latifi in last twenty.
Kick off: Gasly, Stroll, Cho, Schumacher, Latifi
Q2 – Defiant Sainz goes to glory with an amazing hug
Sainz presented his first run, setting a time of 1 minute 31.081 seconds to keep Verstappen in crunch by an impressive margin of 0.909 seconds. Perez was third, 0.130s behind his teammate, while Leclerc was half a second behind in P4. As for Mercedes, neither Russell nor Hamilton was happy with their opening attempt at 12th and 9th, respectively.
Leclerc improved to 0.135sec from Sainz in his second career, leaving Verstappen third and Perez fourth – only the Mexican who went out for the second round but failed to improve – as Hamilton finished close to the top five.
Alonso split Mercedes by just 0.002 seconds behind seventh-placed Russell, while Magnussen reached the P8 for Haas. Norris finished ninth and Tsunoda reached Q3 for the first time since Baku in P10 – Ricciardo lost less than a tenth of a second.
Ocon was unable to make it into the third quarter, finishing 12th ahead of Bottas, while Vettel and Albon were more than two seconds off the lead at 14th and 15th, respectively. With Sainz starting from behind, all eyes will be on the Spaniard’s rapid advance on Sunday. Magnussen’s quick run in Q2 will also be cause for excitement.
Haas and Ferrari both had a chance to beat their rivals in the third quarter as well…
Kicked off: Ricciardo, Ocon, Bottas, Vettel, Albon
Q3 – Ferrari collaborates with Paul Rijkaard for the first time since 1990
Ferrari’s third-quarter game plan was clear; They appeared in sequence for Sainz Leclerc to pull across the circuit’s long strait, with the Monegasque driver setting a temporary pole lap of 1m 31.209sec. Verstappen was only 0.008 seconds off – but he didn’t enjoy the drag while he was gone.
Perez was third provisional, 0.431sec behind in P3, while Mercedes was on track to P4 and P5 with Russell ahead of Hamilton – both on used tires in their first rounds.
The usual calm gave fans time to agitate themselves in the sweltering heat as Perez broke the silence to drive a train of cars out at the final runs. Ferrari continued his match with his team, and Sainz would give Leclerc the second half; Verstappen appeared behind Leclerc, not Perez, on his second attempt for first place.
Leclerc was superior and turned it into a bay, improving to 1m 30.872sec – thanking teammate Sainz over the radio – and keeping Verstappen 0.304sec behind, despite the Dutchman’s improvement. Perez improved too but ended up 0.159secs ahead of his teammate as he prepared to start in the second row.
Hamilton fitted a new set of lining and improved to the P4, although he ended up four-tenths of Perez’s, while McLaren’s Norris managed to split the Mercedes drivers in fifth with Russell finishing sixth. Alonso, in P7, starts behind Norris on Sunday, his Alpine team currently tied with McLaren on points, while Tsunoda runs P8 for AlphaTauri.
Sainz’s sacrifice put him ninth in the third quarter, but he’s preparing for Sunday’s recovery task alongside Magnussen – who didn’t attempt the lap in Q3. Going tete-a-tete Tomorrow from the front row will be Leclerc and Verstappen.
2022 French Grand Prix Qualifiers: Leclerc beats championship rival Verstappen to take first
“It was a great lap. I struggled all weekend to put the lap together and was able to put it in but I have to say I also had Carlos help and that was a great teamwork because without Carlos he would have been so much closer Thanks so much to Carlos and I hope he can Than join us in the fight to win tomorrow.” – Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
The French Grand Prix kicks off at 1500 local time – which is 1300 UTC – with Leclerc and Verstappen once again poised to beat him from the front row, while Sainz will look to climb back across the field in a 53-lap showdown.