Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton bagged pole position in the 2018 French GP at the Circuit Paul Ricard. The defending champion led a Mercedes 1-2 ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo in the other Red Bull rounded out the top 5 with Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari 6th.
One of the more astounding revelations was Alfa Romeo Sauber’s Charles LeClerc in 8th. He starts behind Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr and ahead of both Haas drivers. Speaking of the Haas drivers, Romain Grosjean brought out the red flag after he spun and hit the barriers in Q3. Fortunately, the clock stopped with 7 minutes left, giving everyone plenty of time to improve their lap times. Despite the shunt, Grosjean is still the highest-starting local driver for tomorrow’s race.
Missing out on the top 10 are Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Pierre Gasly and Marcus Ericsson. Ocon and Hulkenberg were unlucky to just miss out on a Q3 position as the gap was less than a tenth.
Filling up the final grid positions were the two McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, the 2 Williams of Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll and Brendon Hartley. In the case of Hartley, he had to change a few engine parts and will receive a penalty.
There was a minor scare for several drivers as the heavens opened slightly, but most of them survived. Here is how Twitter reacted t the French GP qualifying session.
— Shawn (@Shawn_SG) June 23, 2018
— Dan McMahon ⚡↗ (@DanMcmahonF1) June 23, 2018
Dare I say I'm excited for the race tomorrow! So many unknowns and so many cars out of position! The new track helps with a new challenge! Roll on #FrenchGP!!#f1 #bbcf1 #skyf1 #AskCrofty #F1Live #F1tv
— F1 Fanboy (@f1_fan_boy) June 23, 2018
This qualifying only increased the feeling of inevitability surrounding Kimi's future with Ferrari. He is my favorite driver but seems to have lost his edge over the years and has let his team down for too long now. LeClerc seems to represent Ferrari's future now. #FrenchGP
— Karthik Venkataraman (@karthik_red) June 23, 2018
— F1 Madness 🏁 (@F1_Madness) June 23, 2018
— Matt Smith (@MattSmith_44) June 23, 2018
The great thing about going off the road at Paul Ricard is that you never really go off the road…. you just take a slightly different track configuration 🙂 #FrenchGP
— Sean Kelly (@virtualstatman) June 23, 2018
— Loïc (@lo_131) June 23, 2018
In other news the sky is blue and water is wet. Pole #75 for the Brit!
— The Chanman® (@Chandlerbaker23) June 23, 2018
— The Pob (@Quemerford) June 23, 2018