F1 Starting Grid 2021 French Grand Prix
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
|Pos||No||Driver||Team||Lap Time||Pole gap||Tyres|
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:29,990||S (C5)|
|2||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1:30,248||+0,258s||S (C5)|
|3||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1:30,376||+0,386s||S (C5)|
|4||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1:30,445||+0,455s||S (C5)|
|5||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1:30,840||+0,850s||S (C5)|
|6||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||1:30,868||+0,878s||S (C5)|
|7||16||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||1:30,987||+0,997s||S (C5)|
|8||4||Lando Norris||McLaren||1:31,252||+1,262s||S (C5)|
|9||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||1:31,340||+1,350s||S (C5)|
|10||3||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||1:31,382||+1,392s||S (C5)|
|12||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||1:31,767||+1,777s||Free|
|13||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:31,813||+1,823s||Free|
|15||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas||no time||-||Free|
|17||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo||1:33,354||+3,364s||Free|
|19||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||2:12,584||+42,594s||Free|
|20||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||no 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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