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Leclerc dominates French GP qualifying

LE CASTELLET, FRANCE - JULY 23: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari F1-75 on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard on July 23, 2022 in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Charles Leclerc is on pole position for tomorrow’s French Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen in second.

The qualifying session saw clear sunny weather at the Paul Ricard circuit. As expected, Ferrari and Red Bull led the opening qualifying session with Charles Leclerc on top, Max Verstappen second.

Sergio Perez improved from yesterday as he placed P4 behind Carlos Sainz. For the Mercedes duo, it was rather a bitter session as -though expected- they finished P8 and P9 in Q1, a difference from what we saw on Friday from the Silver Arrows.

Disappointment also struck Pierre Gasly – the Frenchman got knocked out in Q1 as he placed P15. Lance Stroll, Guanyu Zhou, Mick Schumacher (who had set a better lap to go through Q2 but it got deleted due to track limits), and Nicholas Latifi were all eliminated in the first round.

The second qualifying session saw the entire field on the soft compound, alternating between old and new tires.

Carlos Sainz impressed everyone with the fastest lap so far as he placed in P1, 9 tenths ahead of second-placed Max Verstappen who attempted to equal the Spaniard’s performance.

The Silver Arrows kept struggling and Hamilton retained 9th place while his teammate Russell dropped to the elimination zone in P12, trying to recover from such a result to advance into Q3. He did it and improved to P7. For Hamilton, it was P5 at the end of the session.

Things were looking promising for Esteban Ocon but it all went down at the end of the session as he finished outside of the top 10, meaning he couldn’t advance into Q3.

Sebastian Vettel was disappointed yet again as he finished in P14, though not as disappointed as he was in the last couple of races where it was worse.

In the end, those eliminated in Q2 were Ricciardo, Ocon, Bottas, Vettel, and Albon.

In the end, after a rather uneventful Q3, it was Charles Leclerc who claimed pole position for the French Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen in second place and Sergio Perez third.

Hamilton and Russell finished P4 and P6 respectively. Norris, the only McLaren in Q3, finished P5 splitting the Mercedes drivers.

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