Lewis Hamilton has secure pole position for the French Grand Prix, narrowly topping his team mate Valtteri Bottas. As both Mercedes topped the times, Sebastian Vettel was the closest competitor. He had to settle for third, ahead of both Red Bulls.
Minutes ahead of the start of qualifying, rain stopped, ready for the track to improve gradually.
After 6 minutes, Verstappen was the first for the top teams to set a time, soon topped by Bottas before Hamilton shaved another two tenths off that time with his flyer. Nine minutes into the session it was Raikkonen who went fastest, but with drivers continuing out on track, times continued to improve, with the drivers in the dropout zone aiming for the final minutes to take advantage of the best track conditions.
Hamilton eventually ended Q1 on top, ahead of Verstappen and Raikkonen. Haas once again seemed to be the best of the rest.
The start of Q2 was again very busy. All due to the circumstances of course, given that some drivers reported some drops of rain at the end of Q1. Both Mercedes as well as Red Bull Racing drivers opted to go out on supersoft. The Ferraris on the other hand opted for ultrasoft.
This created an interesting performance difference. Raikkonen was the first to cross the line with a 1m 32.000s. He was topped by Bottas by 8 tenths, followed by Hamilton who improved another 6 tenths on his team mate. That makes for 1.4s difference to Raikkonen.
Drivers completed several laps in order to ensure making it through, but the top guys were still properly seperated from the rest of the pack. Following the chequered flag, Gasly and Ericsson failed to save themselves. Perez abandoned his hot lap by pitting, meaning Leclerc made it firmly into Q3.
Q3 obviously saw all remaining drivers opt for the ultrasoft tyres, the softest available this weekend.
Ferrari's cars were the first out on track, but it was Bottas who went fastest, moments before Hamilton topped that again. Vettel ended up third fastest, ahead of Verstappen, Ricciardo and Raikkonen.
With that standing, the session was red flagged as Romain Grosjean came to a halt at Turn 4. The Frenchman ended up in the barriers after taking a lot of kerb on the entry of Turn 4, making him lose control of his car and slide nose-first into the barriers. Being unable to engage reverse gear, his session came to an early end.
As usual, the final laps mattered, with Leclerc and Magnussen opting to go for a single shot at the end of the session.
Valtteri Bottas crossed the line first, and ended up on top, only to be topped again by Hamilton. This kept positions intact from the first runs, with Vettel unable to match the Mercedes, ending up in third. Verstappen and Ricciardo were next up, with Raikkonen 7 tenths down on his team mate after another mistake on his most important lap of the weekend.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:31.271||1:30.645||1:30.029||19|
|2||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:31.776||1:31.227||1:30.147||17|
|4||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:31.531||1:30.818||1:30.705||19|
|5||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:31.910||1:31.538||1:30.895||19|
|8||16||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:32.538||1:32.055||1:32.635||21|
|9||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:32.169||1:31.510||1:32.930||23|
|10||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:32.083||1:31.472||-||20|
|11||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:32.786||1:32.075||-||14|
|13||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:32.692||1:32.454||-||15|
|14||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:32.447||1:32.460||-||17|
|15||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:32.804||1:32.820||-||18|
|16||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:32.976||-||-||10|
|17||28||Brendon Hartley||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:33.025||-||-||10|
|18||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:33.162||-||-||10|
|19||35||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Mercedes||1:33.636||-||-||9|
|20||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:33.729||-||-||10|