French Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton takes pole position ahead of Valtteri Bottas

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position at the French Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Top Four

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1min 28.319secs
  2. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:28.605
  3. Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:28.965
  4. Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:29.409

Scroll down for full grid positions


Lewis Hamilton roared to pole position for the French Grand Prix - and then accused rivals Ferrari of taking their eye off the championship fight.

Hamilton is on course to extend his 29-point title lead after seeing off the challenge from team-mate Valtteri Bottas as the all-conquering Mercedes team locked out the front row.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc finished a distant third at the Circuit Paul Ricard, while Sebastian Vettel's troubled fortnight suffered another setback. He will start a lowly seventh on Sunday.

Ferrari arrived in the south of France building a case against Vettel's five-second penalty which lost him the Canadian Grand Prix.

But their 35-minute presentation to Formula One's governing body was dismissed on Friday afternoon - the stewards saying no significant new evidence had been brought to the table.

Ferrari submitted a seven-part argument to challenge the original verdict, including a video analysis by Sky Sports' pundit Karun Chandhok, the former grand prix driver who made 11 appearances.

"If it was me I would want my team concentrating on the race," said Hamilton, fresh from performing another one-lap masterclass.

"Ferrari were spending a lot of time focusing on something else. Me and my team were focused on trying to improve the car.

"When I arrived at the track on Friday morning, and I heard it was Karun Chandhok's video I was pretty relaxed after that."

Hamilton has won five of the seven rounds staged this season, and will be expected to add to that tally on Sunday after claiming the 86th pole of his life - now 18 more than any other driver.

Bottas had appeared to hold a slight edge over his team-mate this weekend, but Hamilton pieced together two fine efforts to finish 0.286 seconds clear.

"I definitely don't feel untouchable," added Hamilton, 34. "I do feel strong, and I am starting the race weekends on the right foot.

"I am constantly being pushed by Valtteri. I still have my work cut out, I still have to perform and deliver so my work ethic is the same, and the stress is the same, too. I usually get better when the season goes on, and I am more comfortable with the car. I don't expect that to stop."

It is 300 days since Vettel last won a race, and his underwhelming campaign hit a new low in qualifying.

The four-time world champion, already 62 points behind Hamilton in the standings, lost control of his Ferrari through the chicane and had to abort his opening flying lap.

Then, he failed to hook up a second time to challenge the leaders, crossing the line an eye-watering 1.4 sec adrift of Hamilton, and behind both McLaren cars.

British teenager Lando Norris finished an impressive fifth, the best qualifying result of his young career.

"I don't know what happened," said Vettel. "I lost so much momentum that there was no point to finish that first lap.

"In the end I didn't get the best out of the car, which is not satisfying."

French Grand Prix: Grid Positions

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1min 28.319secs
  2. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:28.605
  3. Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:28.965
  4. Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:29.409
  5. Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:29.418
  6. Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:29.522
  7. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:29.799
  8. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:29.918
  9. Pierre Gasly (Fra) Red Bull 1:30.184
  10. Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:33.420
  11. Alexander Albon (Tha) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:30.461
  12. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:30.533
  13. Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:30.544
  14. Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:30.738
  15. Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:31.440
  16. Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:31.564
  17. Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:31.626
  18. Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:31.726
  19. George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:32.789
  20. Robert Kubica (Pol) Williams 1:33.205
Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Check out the latest daily racing preview1

Tuesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers is keen on the chances of Last Surprise at Leicester on Tuesday - read her full preview and tips here.

Premier League and EFL football gossip and transfer rumours2

Paper Talk: Sarri wants Kante

Tuesday's Paper Talk has the latest football transfer gossip, including Juventus' double Chelsea swoop.

Ronnie O'Sullivan3

O'Sullivan bemoans level of opponent

Five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan declared victory over rookie Jamie O’Neill as akin to driving behind a novice on the road.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day4

Daily Nap: We're Not Worthy!

David Ord heads to Hereford for Sporting Life Daily Nap on Tuesday with Paul Nicholls fancied to maintain his excellent start to the new jumps season.

Gareth Southgate in conversation with officials5

England win marred by racism

Gareth Southgate's men stood firm in the face of sickening racism as England thrashed Bulgaria on a night of shame in Sofia.

Most Read

Check out the latest daily racing preview1

Tuesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers is keen on the chances of Last Surprise at Leicester on Tuesday - read her full preview and tips here.

Premier League and EFL football gossip and transfer rumours2

Paper Talk: Sarri wants Kante

Tuesday's Paper Talk has the latest football transfer gossip, including Juventus' double Chelsea swoop.

Ronnie O'Sullivan3

O'Sullivan bemoans level of opponent

Five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan declared victory over rookie Jamie O’Neill as akin to driving behind a novice on the road.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day4

Daily Nap: We're Not Worthy!

David Ord heads to Hereford for Sporting Life Daily Nap on Tuesday with Paul Nicholls fancied to maintain his excellent start to the new jumps season.

Gareth Southgate in conversation with officials5

England win marred by racism

Gareth Southgate's men stood firm in the face of sickening racism as England thrashed Bulgaria on a night of shame in Sofia.

Racing Tips

Sporting Life's NAP of the day

Daily Nap: We're Not Worthy!

David Ord heads to Hereford for Sporting Life Daily Nap on Tuesday with Paul Nicholls fancied to maintain his excellent start to the new jumps season.

Check out the latest daily racing preview

Tuesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers is keen on the chances of Last Surprise at Leicester on Tuesday - read her full preview and tips here.

All of Sporting Life's current best bets across a range of sports

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.

Next Race Off

09:30 Kolkata
4
(5)
Bojangles
J: Neeraj Rawal
1
(3)
Joss
J: Suraj Narredu

Football Tips

Our best bets for Tuesday's Euro 2020 Qualifying action

Euro 2020: Tuesday's preview & tips

The latest international break comes to an end on Tuesday and Tom Carnduff picks out his best bets - all at prices of odds-against.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate a goal for Arsenal in Valencia

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in October 2019.

All of Sporting Life's current best bets across a range of sports

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.