Event: French F1 Grand Prix
Track: Paul Ricard Circuit

Warm-up lap starts at: 15:00 Local | 15:00 CET | 14:00 UK | 06:00 LA | 22:00 Tokio

Verstappen did what nobody expected today in France during qualifying for the 2021 French GP. The Dutchman stole pole away pole position from his title rival with a 'huge' gap of more than 2,5 tents.

Even Valtteri Bottas with the 'better' chassis wasn't able to keep up with the two title rivals and was even almost 4 tents slower than Verstappen's pole time.

Best of the rest was Carlos Sainz on P5 wit the Ferrari on 0,85s apart. Pierre Gasly did a great job in the Red Bull B-team (AlphaTauri) by qualifying 6.

F1 Starting Grid 2021 French GP

PosNoDriverTeamLap TimePole gapTyres
133Max VerstappenRed Bull1:29,990S (C5)
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:30,248+0,258sS (C5)
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1:30,376+0,386sS (C5)
411Sergio PérezRed Bull1:30,445+0,455sS (C5)
555Carlos Sainz Jr.Ferrari1:30,840+0,850sS (C5)
610Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri1:30,868+0,878sS (C5)
716Charles LeclercFerrari1:30,987+0,997sS (C5)
84Lando NorrisMcLaren1:31,252+1,262sS (C5)
914Fernando AlonsoAlpine1:31,340+1,350sS (C5)
103Daniel RicciardoMcLaren1:31,382+1,392sS (C5)
1131Esteban OconAlpine1:31,736+1,746sFree
125Sebastian VettelAston Martin1:31,767+1,777sFree
1399Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo1:31,813+1,823sFree
1463George RussellWilliams1:32,065+2,075sFree
1547Mick SchumacherHaasno time-Free
166Nicholas LatifiWilliams1:33,062+3,072sFree
177Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo1:33,354+3,364sFree
189Nikita MazepinHaas1:33,554+3,564sFree
1918Lance StrollAston Martin2:12,584+42,594sFree
2022Yuki TsunodaAlphaTaurino time-Free

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri no. 22 had to start from the pits because the team had to replace the gearbox and floor of the car in parc ferme.

2021 French F1 GP Race Strategy

The 53-lap French Grand Prix is set to be a one-stopper. With all the top 10 choosing to start on the P Zero Yellow medium tyre, a medium to hard one-stopper is the logical way forward for them – and this could be the case even for those outside the top 10. In fact, for those further down the field, starting on the P Zero White hard could be another option as well, before switching to the medium or P Zero Red soft later in the race.

A one-stopper from soft to medium is definitely too demanding, especially if it's warm, so the only other obvious choice will be soft to hard (although that will require a bit of tyre management on the soft).

However, there's also a small chance that there could be some rain tomorrow morning, and while that's unlikely to persist until the race, a wet surface in the morning might affect tyre strategy.

2021 Monaco F1 GP Race Notes

  • Red Bull driver Max Verstappen claimed Pirelli's 250th pole position, having also gone fastest by a big margin in FP3 this morning. He ran the C4 Red soft compound to set his pole time, which he also used to establish the best FP3 time in the morning.
  • Practically all the drivers used the Yellow medium C3 tyre for the crucial Q2 session, which determines the tyres they will start the race on tomorrow. As a result, all the top 10 on the grid is set to start on the medium.
  • Williams driver George Russell was the only driver to begin Q2 on the soft tyres, before switching to the medium. The medium was also used during the first Q3 run by Alpine's Fernando Alonso and McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo.
  • There were two red flags in the opening Q1 session, including one that ended the session prematurely with 20 seconds to go and prevented a number of drivers from completing their laps.
  • Temperatures remained dry and warm similar to yesterday, peaking at 32 degrees ambient and 46 degrees of track temperature. This might change tomorrow, with some forecasts of light rain in the morning.


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13 F1 Fan comments on “F1 Starting Grid 2021 French Grand Prix

  1. Jax

    Well once again the Hammer gets the most out of a chassis that Bottas claims is a problem. Maybe Merc should also swap mechanics like 2016 again. Smh.
    Lewis should henceforth be called the Sandman during practice sessions. Awful of him to get his teammate's hopes up by sandbagging the whole time Lol.
    Let's see what Mad Max can do with race pace tomorrow given Hammer's performance on those mediums in Q2.

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    • ReallyOldRacer

      Jaxman, Sir Lewis did a good job staying close to VER, but MB should be running away with this race not fighting over 2d quali place 258 sec back.

      BTW, again do some research. Maybe a bit less nuance and a few more facts. MB ignored BOT about chassis #6 problems but HAM complains and they refit the entire chassis. Voila, it's fast again.

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      • f1award

        Shoddypost, Max is no longer a kid, unlike yourself, and a tenth on one lap is a fair chunk. Best stop putting lol after every post as it doesn't turn a stupid insulting post into a funny one.

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        • shroppyfly

          Weekend drink wearing off now is it , ah bless him, he doesn't get out much at least Jax attempts to justify the rubbish he posts, never mind, it takes all sorts i suppose , just for you LOL

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  2. shroppyfly

    Return of the Jax oh oh Return of the Jax, weve missed you, well... thats not strictly true but anyway isnt the top ten on the same tyres? so shouldn't give him any real advantage, unless your now working for Pirelli or something as Lulus spy, afterall wouldnt be the first time hes been involved in borrowed data would it .

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