The Dutch driver beat Hamilton by 0.258 to take his second pole of the season and confirm that his pace setting form in free practice was real.
Hamilton beat his teammate Bottas by 0.128 seconds with Red Bulls Sergio Perez close behind in fourth. The Ferrari of Carlos Sainz came 5th with Pierre Gasly filling the 6th spot on the grid for tomorrow. Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10.
Hamilton, was clearly frustrated by the gap in pace to Red Bulls Verstappen, quickly coming onto his team radio saying “That was a good lap – and still we were 0.2secs off?”. This was especially notable as Mercedes hoped to claw back some advantage after two new rule changes stopping the flexible rear wing and being more strict on tyre pressures were introduced. These were expected to favour the German outfit but Red Bull seem to have dealt with them well.
Verstappen, was happy to break the dominance of Mercedes at the Paul Ricard circuit saying “So far it has been a really positive weekend where normally it has been a bit difficult for us. To get pole position was really nice”.
Sainz was a standout performer taking the best of the rest title, and beating his teammate Leclerc who is considered one of the fastest on single lap pace. Leclerc has seemed to struggle appearing 0.5secs off Sainz’s pace during free practice. Despite pulling it together somewhat in qualifying his lap was still 0.147secs slower then Sainz, which allowed Gasly to split the Ferraris.
Ocon will be disappointed to miss out on the top 10 shootout after he signed a new 3 year deal this week. He was beaten by his teammate Alonso who has looked strong all weekend.
George Russell kept his record of escaping Q1 at every race, taking 14th in his Williams. Mick Schumacher had a mixed day, making it to Q2 for the first time but crashing at the end of Q1 meaning he couldn’t run in the second session; He will start 15th.
Yuki Tsunoda had a terrible day crashing on his first flying and forcing him start last. Whilst Lance Stroll also got unlucky and was affected by Red Flags meaning he will start 19th.
Full Starting Grid