The hour of truth has spoken at Le Castellet, and for once it is not to the advantage of Lewis Hamilton.
The seven-time British world champion, winner and poleman twice since the reappearance of the Grand Prix de France in the calendar in 2018, has been grilled politeness by his biggest contender for the title and current leader, the Dutchman Max Verstappen .
The winner of the Monaco Grand Prix will therefore start in front of the two Mercedes of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who is recovering a little health after his last outings far from the expectations of his manufacturer.
Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) is 6th ahead of Charles Leclerc (Ferrari).
Fernando Alonso brought in the only Alpine in the Top 10 (9th).
Quali result #FrenchGP 🇫🇷 Max P1 ⏱, HAM, BOT, Checo P4 👏, SAI, GAS, LEC, NOR, ALO, RIC.
- Red Bull Racing Honda (@redbullracing) June 19, 2021
The session was interrupted for the first time after the crash of Japanese Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri).
Then a second time shortly before half an hour after the accident of Mick Schumacher, who had nevertheless managed to climb with his modest Haas among the first fifteen lap times.
💵💵💵 # MickSchumacher #Quali #FranceGP # ElevenF1 pic.twitter.com/Cr57ITbBqh
- Leon Fettel (@LeonFettel) June 19, 2021
The cars, except the son of the Red Baron, emerge five minutes after the red flag for the final confrontation.
Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen, everyone is doing their best to set the best time and in this little game, it is the young Dutchman who finally gets out of the game.
On the French side, Pierre Gasly has confirmed his great form since the start of the season with the 6th fastest time.
The disappointment came from Esteban Ocon.
In his Alpine, the Norman, who however (like Gasly) wears a magnificent tricolor helmet for the occasion, does not enter the Top 10 (11th).
The double Spanish world champion Fernando Alonso signed the 9th time.
This starting grid does not bode well for this Sunday's race, which will start at 3 p.m.
Thunderstorms are indeed announced over the South of France, and it is very likely that many race events will take place.
The starting grid:
1. Max Verstappen (NED / Red Bull-Honda) 1: 29.990
2. Lewis Hamilton (GBR / Mercedes) 1: 30.248
3. Valtteri Bottas (FIN / Mercedes) 1: 30.376
4. Sergio Pérez (MEX / Red Bull-Honda) 1: 30.445
5. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP / Ferrari) 1: 30.840
6. Pierre Gasly (FRA / AlphaTauri-Honda) 1: 30.868
7. Charles Leclerc (MON / Ferrari) 1: 30.987
8. Lando Norris (GBR / McLaren-Mercedes) 1: 31.252
9. Fernando Alonso (ESP / Alpine-Renault) 1: 31.340
10. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS / McLaren-Mercedes) 1: 31.382