Lewis Hamilton on pole position for French Grand Prix

28 June 2018, 01:19 | Kristine Mills

Lewis Hamilton beats Mercedes-GP teammate Valtteri Bottas to take French GP pole

Hamilton takes pole as Sainz claims 7th and Alonso suffers

Lewis Hamilton conceded that his French Grand Prix pole position effort was far from flawless, though praised Mercedes' recovery after its slight dip in Canada.

After several days of heat-wave conditions, heavy thunderstorms are forecast to continue on Sunday when the first French Grand Prix for a decade, and first at Le Castellet's "Paul Ricard" circuit in 28 years, is scheduled to start.

The Red Bull Racing cars of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fourth and fifth, with the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen in sixth. It's such a lovely place.

The revamped Paul Ricard circuit at Le Castellet was a fixture on the F1 calendar until 1990, when four-time champion Alain Prost won the last race held there for Ferrari.

"But there's a long way to go and we'll keep approaching the rest of the season like we approached today". "In the end, P3, I'm happy, because the auto should be good in the race".

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Mercedes brought an upgraded power unit to Le Castellet and Hamilton, who has yet to win in France, has been consistently quick.

Marcus Ericsson, who had a high-speed crash in his Sauber at the end of the morning session, was unable to run as his auto, which had burst into flames, was not repaired in time.

The four times champion's best time in the second was 1:32.539, with Mercedes finally giving him the updated engine after delaying its introduction in Canada two weekends ago due to a technical issue.

Hamilton also had a close call when forced to swerve off course to avoid ramming Stoffel Vandoorne and slalomed around two rows of bollards before returning to the flow.

Fernando Alonso, victor of the 24 Hour Le Mans last week, failed to get out of the first qualifying section, which culls the slowest five drivers, along with McLaren partner Stoffel Vandoorne and both Williams cars. Another driver on somewhat of a high is Fernando Alonso, albeit not because of his faltering McLaren.



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