Published: Thu, June 28, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Hamilton wins pole position in French Grand Prix

Hamilton wins pole position in French Grand Prix

Any Formula One veterans in the garage or paddock who do remember the 1990 race at Paul Ricard will not be much help to the teams either given the layout has changed considerably since then.

Charles Leclerc twice spun to a brief stop, while Max Verstappen drove his Red Bull wide on consecutive corners and Kevin Magnussen had a near miss with Sergio Perez.

The second session was momentarily stopped while crews helped retrieve Perez's Force India after the back left wheel came off as he drove over a curb, sending the auto sliding across the tarmac. It's such a lovely place.

Vettel took his one-point lead two weeks ago when he won the Canadian GP. Either they know something we don't or they have made a mistake.

Hamilton's lap was barely a tenth of a second quicker than teammate Valtteri Bottas, who briefly looked likely to claim pole position.

The session ended in drama with three minutes remaining when Swede Marcus Ericsson crashed heavily into the barriers at the high-speed Beausset corner, his Sauber vehicle bursting into flames on one side.

The Swede worryingly remained in the vehicle before marshals arrived with an extinguisher and he clambered out from underneath the halo head-protection system.

In F1's first race in France in a decade, Hamilton quickly adapted to the unfamiliar track by posting the top times in both of Friday's qualifying sessions, while Vettel struggled to find the right driving lines. Let's see if we can start from there tomorrow.

"So I was still finding gains in every run throughout qualifying".

Fernando Alonso, who was fourth for McLaren.

Spain's double world champion Fernando Alonso, victor at the Le Mans 24 Hours with Toyota last weekend, was only 16th in the first session but improved to eighth in the second.

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