2021 French GP - Max Verstappen takes pole for the French Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton 

Max Verstappen took pole position ahead of the French Grand Prix ahead of championship rival Lewis Hamilton, with Red Bull and Mercedes occupying the front two rows.

Here is how qualifying unfolded:

Q1

Yuki Tsunoda brought out a red flag early on in the session when he lost the rear of his Alpha Tauri on the exit of turn one and found the barriers. The Japanese driver will start last on the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix.

Q1 ended with another red flag, as Mick Schumacher put his Haas in the wall at turn six, leaving him unable to participate in Q2.

Schumacher's accident meant that his team-mate Nikita Mazepin, Kimi Raikkonen, and Nicholas Latifi were knocked out. The surprise of the session saw Aston Martin's Lance Stroll knocked out after the Canadian was unable to record a lap. 

Red Bull set the pace at the front with Max Verstappen fastest by 0.236s ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton. Their team-mates Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas were third and fourth fastest. 

Q2

There was disappointment for Esteban Ocon at his home Grand Prix who was knocked out of Q2 and will start 11th. 

Sebastian Vettel will start from 12th, Antonio Giovinazzi will start from 13th in his Alfa Romeo with George Russell in the Williams starting 14th ahead of Mick Schumacher who couldn't take part in Q2 after his earlier crash.

Mercedes topped the timing sheets at the end of the session with Valtteri Bottas 0.053s ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Their championship rivals were behind them with Perez and Verstappen third and fourth fastest.

Q3

It was the Red Bull and Mercedes cars who locked out the front row with Max Verstappen taking pole position for Sunday's race ahead of Lewis Hamilton by 0.258s. Hamilton's team-mate Valterri Bottas will be joined by Sergio Perez on the second row.

Pierre Gasly split the two Ferrari's with Gasly starting sixth behind Carlos Sainz and ahead of Charles Leclerc in seventh.

Lando Norris will start eighth ahead of Fernando Alonso in ninth and Daniel Ricciardo in tenth. 

Starting grid

1. Max Verstappen

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Valtteri Bottas

4. Sergio Perez

5. Carlos Sainz

6. Pierre Gasly

7. Charles Leclerc

8. Lando Norris

9. Fernando Alonso

10. Daniel Ricciardo

11. Esteban Ocon

12. Sebastian Vettel

13. Antonio Giovinazzi

14. George Russell

15. Mick Schumacher

16. Nicholas Latifi

17. Kimi Raikkonen

18. Nikita Mazepin

19. Lance Stroll

20. Yuki Tsunoda

 

 

 

 

 

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