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French Grand Prix 2022 - Qualifying


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Leclerc takes his 7th pole of the year!


Charles Leclerc took pole position with his 1st flying lap, leaving Max Verstappen second by 0.164s, and though Max attempted another lap, he didn’t improve, though his second sector was far superior to Leclerc’s and perhaps an ominous sign…

Ferrari’s gameplan for Q3 was clear; they emerged in sequence for Sainz to tow Leclerc through the circuit’s long straights, the Monegasque driver setting a provisional pole lap of 1m 31.209s. Verstappen was just 0.008s off but he hadn’t enjoyed a tow on his go.

Perez was a provisional 3rd, 0.431s off in P3, while the Mercedes were on course for P4 and P5 with Russell ahead of Hamilton both on used Soft tyres for their first runs.

The customary lull gave fans time to fan themselves in the unrelenting heat with Perez breaking the silence to lead a train of cars out for the final runs. Ferrari continued their team game, Sainz to give Leclerc a tow for the second run; Verstappen emerged behind Leclerc, not Perez, for his second attempt at pole.

Leclerc had the edge and turned it into a gulf, improving to 1m 30.872s thanking his team mate Sainz over the radio and keeping Verstappen behind by 0.304s, despite the Dutchman improving. Perez also improved but ended up 0.159s off his team mate as he prepares to start on the second row.

Hamilton equipped a new set of softs and improved to P4, though he ended up over four-tenths off Perez, while McLaren’s Norris managed 5th to split the Mercedes drivers as Russell ended up 6th. Alonso, in P7, starts behind Norris on Sunday, his Alpine squad equal with McLaren on points currently, while Tsunoda managed P8 for AlphaTauri.

Sainz's sacrifice saw him end up ninth in Q3 but he gears up for a recovery mission on Sunday alongside Magnussen who didn't attempt a lap in Q3. Going wheel to wheel tomorrow from the front row will therefore be Leclerc and Verstappen.

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