Lewis Hamilton ended the first day of the French GP weekend on top with a 1m33.243s, 0.703s faster then Daniel Ricciardo in second and Verstappen in third.
Hamilton already showed good pace during the early soft and supersoft runs, making good use of his brand new and updated power unit. His early times were at the top of the charts before Ricciardo clocked slightly faster on the Ultra Soft tyre. The early runs were plagued by mistakes due strong tailwinds, with Grosjean going off the track at turn 12 , Alonso going wide at turn 1 and Raikkonen having a donut moment at turn 2. Perez also had issues keeping his car on track, foreshadowing what would come for him later in the session. After those first minor interruptions, laptimes quickly got lowered by ferrari, red bull and mercedes in succession.
Around the midway point of the session, most of the drivers went out for their qualification runs. Vettel and Ricciardo got their laps in on the ultrasofts before the session got red flagged due a bizarre incident where Perez lost his left rear wheel between turn 5 & 6. The wheel luckily just rolled off to the side of the track without bringing anyone in jeapordy.
Right after the green flag was shown, Hamilton came out and duly set a convincing time on the table that would not be touched again for the rest of the session by anyone, clearing himself 7 tenths from second placed Ricciardo. Verstappen, who neither was able to do a time before Perez' incident, slotted in 3 hundreds of a seconds behind Ricciardo.
Not all was well at the Mercedes garage though. Bottas stayed inside the garage while the team removed the floor to check for an issue. It was later confirmed Bottas would not drive anymore due a water leak.
After the qualification runs, it was back to running stints as usual. Vettel showed quite impressive pace on supersofts. Meanwhile Stroll was loosing his temper on the radio due his car feeling uncontrollable. Leclerc had a small off track moment, while Hartley had to stop on the track after loosing drive. Alonso finished off quite an incident-packed practice with a spin at turn 4, marking the tricky conditions.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:32.539||-||27|
|2||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:33.243||+0.704s||31|
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:33.271||+0.732s||24|
|6||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:33.699||+1.160s||30|
|7||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:34.156||+1.617s||7|
|8||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:34.400||+1.861s||24|
|9||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:34.457||+1.918s||33|
|10||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:34.535||+1.996s||35|
|13||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:35.172||+2.633s||28|
|14||16||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:35.583||+3.044s||33|
|15||28||Brendon Hartley||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:35.697||+3.158s||31|
|16||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:35.705||+3.166s||25|
|17||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:35.936||+3.397s||34|
|18||35||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Mercedes||1:35.970||+3.431s||35|
|19||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:36.080||+3.541s||13|