Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc vaulted to his first career French Grand Prix pole, edging out Red bull’s Max Verstappen at Circuit Paul Ricard.
For Leclerc, it was his 7th pole of the season, clocking in at 1:30.872.
“It was a great lap. I’ve struggled all weekend to put a lap together and I managed to put it, but I have to say that I also had the help of Carlos (Sainz) and that was amazing teamwork because without Carlos it would have been much more close, so huge thanks to Carlos and I hope that he can join us back in the fight for the win tomorrow,” Leclerc said.
Championship leader Verstappen, who holds a 38-point lead on Leclerc, felt his car wasn’t where it needed be.
“Overall we were lacking a bit in qualifying with grip and general pace,” Verstappen said. “We pushed hard but there were a few areas on the track that I couldn’t improve on, especially in my final lap. We have a good race car but looking after the tires is key, it’s much warmer tomorrow and that will have an impact so we’ll have to see what we can do strategy wise. For the Ferrari’s to be on pole again shows that they have a great car and I expect them to be very quick again. It’s good to have Checo (Perez) alongside though and we are quick on the straights so let’s see what we can do.”
Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez will start third, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton qualifying in fourth.
Lando Norris drove his McLaren to fifth on the grid.