2022 French Grand Prix qualifying report and highlights: Sainz tows Leclerc to first pole at French Grand Prix as Verstappen qualifies second


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Charles Leclerc took Ferrari’s first pole position in the Paul Ricard race since 1990, and rival Max Verstappen will join him in the front row at the 2022 French Grand Prix.

As the sun scorches at the Paul Ricard circuit, Leclerc leads the first quarter ahead of Verstappen, while Carlos Sainz, who starts from behind due to engine fines, scored in the second quarter with a stunning lap.

In the third quarter, Leclerc enjoyed towing Sainz on both of his flight laps, the Monegasque improved to 1m 30.872s, leaving Verstappen 0.304s behind. Sergio Pérez finished third, 0.159 seconds behind his teammate, as Lewis Hamilton moved up to 4th in his last run.

Lando Norris managed to split Mercedes in fifth place in favor of McLaren, relegating George Russell to sixth.

FP3: Verstappen leads duo Ferrari in French Grand Prix final practice



Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing



Fernando Alonso starts seventh just behind Norris – both Alpine and McLaren are equal on points with the French Grand Prix, with Yuki Tsunoda qualifying eighth.

Sainz sacrificed his Q3 to take 9th for Ferrari, but due to engine problems, he starts from behind with Kevin Magnussen, who made it to Q3 but did not enter the session.

Daniel Ricciardo missed less than a tenth of a second in the third quarter in 11th place, while Esteban Ocon qualified in 12th on the road for Alpine at home. Valtteri Bottas finished 13th in qualifying, leaving Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel 14th and Williams’ Alex Albon 15th.

Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll (16th and 17th respectively) missed the second quarter by 0.06 seconds and oversteer caused Zhou Guangyu to finish 18th for Alfa Romeo. A brief foul by Mick Schumacher dropped him to 19th and out of the first quarter, while Nicholas Latifi was 20th.

With penalties for Sainz and Magnussen, of course, those eliminated from Q2 and Q3 will see a rise on the grid in Sunday’s race.

Leclerc took his seventh pole of the year

Q1 – Verstappen leaves time on the table as Leclerc sets an early benchmark

With temperatures and wind speeds rising, it was clear that qualifying would be a major challenge for the field in France.

Charles Leclerc took first with his first flying lap, leaving Max Verstappen in second, 0.164 seconds back, and although the Dutchman tried another lap, he didn’t improve – although his second sector was much better than Leclerc’s and possibly it was an ominous sign…

Carlos Sainz was more than half a second behind in third place, the Scuderia driver started from behind due to an engine penalty. Sergio Perez was fourth, 0.627 seconds behind first place for Red Bull, while Lando Norris was the last driver within a second of P1 with fifth for McLaren.

Despite a poor start with new powertrain components, Kevin Magnussen finished sixth in his only run of the first quarter, 0.063 seconds ahead of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, who received a solid tug from Verstappen.


Verstappen looked better in the second run in the first quarter, but seemed to fall back in sector 3.

Valtteri Bottas was eighth for Alfa Romeo, leaving Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ninth and George Russell 10th, both more than 1.3 seconds behind the pace.

Missing the opportunity to use soft tires in FP3, Sebastian Vettel impressed Aston Martin in 11th, leaving Alpine’s Esteban Okon in 12th and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda in 13th.

Daniel Ricciardo made it to the second quarter in 14th place, despite his second run being credited due to a track limit; Alex Albon ignored his spin on move 8 and took 15th for Williams.

In 16th place, Pierre Gasly was out in the first quarter at home just 0.06 seconds off Albon, exactly the same time as Lance Stroll, an Aston Martin driver frustrated by traffic jams in 17th place.

Violent oversteer on the way to the Mistral Straight saw Zhou Guangyu finish 18th, Mick Schumacher had a lap time removed which moved him from 11th to 19th and crashed out of Q1, and Nicholas Latifi was last and 20th.

Knocked out: Gasley, Stroll, Zhou, Schumacher, Latifi.


The track restrictions cost Schumacher and he remained in a disappointing 19th place.

Q2 – Defiant Sainz goes to glory with a stunning lap

Sainz put on a show in his first run, setting a time of 1m31.081s to keep Verstappen at bay with a stunning 0.909s lead. Pérez was provisional third, just 0.130 seconds behind his teammate, with Leclerc a further half second behind in fourth place. As for Mercedes, neither Russell nor Hamilton were happy with their starting effort, finishing 12th and 9th respectively.

Leclerc improved to within 0.135s of Sainz in moto 2, leaving Verstappen third and Pérez fourth – only the Mexican made it to moto 2 but failed to improve – and Hamilton ended up rounding out the top five.

Alonso shared the Mercedes, just 0.002 seconds ahead of Russell in seventh place, while Magnussen made it to eighth place instead of Haas. Norris finished ninth and Tsunoda made it to the third quarter for the first time since Baku in 10th, with Ricciardo less than a tenth of a second behind.

Ocon failed to make it through Q3, finishing 12th ahead of Bottas, while Vettel and Albon were more than two seconds behind the pace, finishing 14th and 15th respectively. With Sainz starting from the back, all eyes will be on the Spaniard’s rapid progress on Sunday; Magnussen’s fast run in the second quarter will also generate excitement.

Both Haas and Ferrari had a chance to upset their rivals in the third quarter…

Knocked out: Riccardo, Ocon, Bottas, Vettel, Albon.


Sainz stunned by Ferrari’s lead in Q2

Q3 – The Ferrari team took Paul Ricard’s pole position for the first time since 1990.

Ferrari’s plan for the Q3 was clear; they appeared in sequence to have Sainz tow Leclerc over long straight sections of the track, the Monaco rider set up a preliminary lap with a 1m 31.209s pole position. Verstappen was only 0.008 seconds behind, but on the move he didn’t enjoy towing.

Pérez was tied for third, 0.431 seconds back in P3, while Mercedes were on their way to P4 and P5 and Russell was ahead of Hamilton – both on used tires for their first runs.

The usual lull gave fans time to fan out in the unrelenting heat as Perez broke his silence to lead the train of cars into the final heats. Ferrari continued their team game, Sainz towed Leclerc for the second time; Verstappen appeared behind Leclerc, not Pérez, in his second attempt at pole.

Leclerc had the advantage and turned it into a chasm, improving to 1m 30.872s – thanking his teammate Sainz on the radio – and leaving Verstappen 0.304s behind despite the Dutchman’s improvement. Pérez also improved but ended up trailing his teammate by 0.159 seconds as he prepared to start on the second row.

Hamilton fitted a new set of software and climbed to 4th, although he ended up more than four-tenths behind Perez, while McLaren’s Norris managed fifth, separating the Mercedes drivers, and Russell was sixth. Alonso, in 7th place, starts Sunday behind Norris, his Alpine team is now equal on points with McLaren, while Tsunoda finished 8th with AlphaTauri.

Sainz’s sacrifice saw him ninth in the third quarter, but on Sunday he’s gearing up for a recovery mission alongside Magnussen, who didn’t attempt a lap in the third quarter. going to tete-a-tete So tomorrow Leclerc and Verstappen will be in the front row.

2022 French Grand Prix qualifying: Leclerc beat his rival in the Verstappen championship to take pole position

Key Quote

“It was a great lap. I struggled to get the circle together and I managed to do it, but I have to say that Carlos also helped me and it was amazing teamwork, because without Carlos it would have been much closer, so a huge thank you to Carlos and I I hope he can join us again in the fight for victory tomorrow.” – Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

What’s next

The French Grand Prix starts at 15:00 local time, that is, at 13:00 UTC. Leclerc and Verstappen are once again poised to come out of the front rows, while Sainz will try to break through the field in a 53 lap showdown.

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