Sat, 14 Dec 2019

Hamilton powers to French Grand Prix pole

23 Jun 2019, 04:12 GMT+10

Le Castellet - Lewis Hamilton timed his best lap to perfection on Saturday when he took pole position ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas with a blistering late effort at the French Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo was eighth for Renault ahead of Frenchman Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull and Antonio Giovinazzi of Alfa Romeo.

Bottas said: "I think Lewis had a really good lap. It's between super close between us all weekend and it's about fine details."

On an afternoon of searing heat and a gusty wind at the remote Le Castellet circuit, the track temperature was 55 degrees as the session began and the air was 30, conditions that ensured plenty of complaints about the smooth, if slippery, asphalt surface.

Both Mercedes and Ferrari started Q2 on mediums and Hamilton responded with a lap in 1:29.520, only for Bottas to reply with 1:29.437, taking an extra lap to do so.

That left the four-time world champion, already in a solemn mood after the rejection of Ferrari's appeal against the Montreal penalty which cost him victory in Canada, sounding ironically grim ahead of the final showdown.

The starting grid for Sunday's French Grand Prix:

1st row

Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)

Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes)

2nd row

Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari)

Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull-Honda)

3rd row

Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Renault)

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/McLaren-Renault)

4th row

Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari)

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Renault)

5th row

Pierre Gasly (FRA/Red Bull-Honda)

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari)

6th row

Alexander Albon (THA/Toro Rosso-Honda)

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari)

7th row

Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Renault)

Sergio Perez (MEX/Racing Point-Mercedes)

8th row

Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari)

Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas-Ferrari)

9th row

Lance Stroll (CAN/Racing Point-Mercedes)

George Russell (GBR/Williams-Mercedes)

10th row

Robert Kubica (POL/Williams-Mercedes)

Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Toro Rosso-Honda)

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