Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Paul Ricard, 2019

2019 French Grand Prix grid

2019 French Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton leads the provisional grid for the 2019 French Grand Prix.

Row 11. Lewis Hamilton 1’28.319
Mercedes
2. Valtteri Bottas 1’28.605
Mercedes
Row 23. Charles Leclerc 1’28.965
Ferrari
4. Max Verstappen 1’29.409
Red Bull
Row 35. Lando Norris 1’29.418
McLaren
6. Carlos Sainz Jnr 1’29.522
McLaren
Row 47. Sebastian Vettel 1’29.799
Ferrari
8. Daniel Ricciardo 1’29.918
Renault
Row 59. Pierre Gasly 1’30.184
Red Bull
10. Antonio Giovinazzi 1’33.420
Alfa Romeo
Row 611. Alexander Albon 1’30.461
Toro Rosso
12. Kimi Raikkonen 1’30.533
Alfa Romeo
Row 713. Nico Hulkenberg 1’30.544
Renault
14. Sergio Perez 1’30.738
Racing Point
Row 815. Kevin Magnussen 1’31.440
Haas
16. Romain Grosjean 1’31.626
Haas
Row 917. Lance Stroll 1’31.726
Racing Point
18. Robert Kubica 1’33.205
Williams
Row 1019. Daniil Kvyat* 1’31.564
Toro Rosso
20. George Russell* 1’32.789
Williams

*Required to start from back of grid due to multiple power unit component changes.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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24 comments on “2019 French Grand Prix grid”

  1. Embarrassing, very embarrassing. Not only Gasly, but even Vettel lost to not one, but both Mclarens, LOL. As well as, Gasly to Ricciardo as was the case two weeks ago.

    1. @jerejj and to think Renault had a really crappy qualifying, Verstappen was only half a second quicker than Ricciardo. And with Mclaren snapping at their heels RB could be looking at being seriously challenged before the end of the yr.

    2. @jerejj, with Vettel, I wonder whether the decision by Ferrari to appeal has instead backfired on the team given that it has been a constant distraction for him in the build up to qualifying.

      Irrespective of the rights or wrongs of the penalty itself – and, frankly, I don’t want to get into that debate given it is just going round in circles now – the decision to appeal seems to have resulted in Vettel fixating on the issue ever since he left Canada, and you do wonder whether it has been impacting his driving.

      In the practise sessions, he seemed ill at ease inside the car and was perhaps allowing himself to become distracted by things that normally he might normally not complain about – little things, such as complaining about the seat being a little uncomfortable or tending to get frustrated more quickly than normal with the car and with the set up work he was having to do.

      I do wonder whether the fact that Leclerc seemed to be much more comfortable with the car only added to his frustrations, perhaps encouraging Vettel to push too hard to try and find time when it might have been easier if he had instead focussed on getting a smoother rhythm around the circuit. It sounded as if it was a similar thing in qualifying as well, as Vettel did sound a bit irritable and frustrated over the radio, particularly when being asked by the team to speed up to avoid holding up Leclerc in Q2.

      It didn’t help that, with the need to abort the first lap, Vettel was putting himself under a lot of pressure on the second lap – particularly given that McLaren’s pace in Q2 showed there was little margin for error. All in all, there seem to have been a series of minor frustrations during the weekend that the team and Vettel have allowed to build up due to the lack of an escape mechanism.

      In that sense, maybe Ferrari would have been better if they hadn’t appealed and had instead just moved on as quickly as possible. By going through the appeals process and creating a constant distraction that seems to have frustrated Vettel, the potential downturn in form that could occur due to Vettel being less focussed and more on edge has the potential to be a far larger self imposed penalty.
      It is notable that Leclerc has, by contrast, been quietly working in the background to try and improve his qualifying performance and that, for much of this weekend, he has been the quicker of the two drivers over both a single lap and an extended stint – something that may be resulting from, and only compounding, Vettel’s frustrations this weekend.

      I just hope that we don’t see Vettel getting involved in a start line crash of the sort that Vettel had last year. If he can at least have a clean race and put that dispute behind him, it will let some of those frustrations slip away and he can mentally rest himself. If, however, he gets himself tangled up in another on track incident – especially if it earns him a penalty – I can see him beginning to slip into the sort of slump in form that he had in the latter part of 2018.

      1. @anon That could very well be the case.

      2. @anon That’s my feeling too, in fact I said yesterday that I thought dragging out the Canada issue would just distract Vettel and put unneeded pressure on him. At the same time it’s interesting to note that the windy conditions meant drivers had to adapt. And that – excuse my bias – brings the best drivers like Hamilton and Leclerc to the fore. Likewise Verstappen and Norris.

      3. anon well said, that reads as a solid possibility. I was particularly struck by

        All in all, there seem to have been a series of minor frustrations during the weekend that the team and Vettel have allowed to build up due to the lack of an escape mechanism.

        which reads as exactly the sort of problem Ferrari let’s itself get stuck with (except in the Todt/Brawn/Schumacher era, I think).

  2. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    22nd June 2019, 15:06

    So happy to see McLaren at the 3rd row.

    1. Would love to see a side-by-side of Verstappen and Norris’ laps… 0.009 apart is a pretty impressive feat by the McLaren!

    2. @panagiotism-papatheodorou

      I’m thrilled for them… they almost out qualified Verstappen. Mclaren looking as quick, if not quicker than Red Bull for the 2nd time year (Bahrain was the first).

      After all the animosity thrown towards Mclaren for dumping Honda, it’s great to see them finally take a step forward. Red Bull taking a step backward definitely adds a smile to my face as well. After a year of non-stop Renault bashing, and praising the sheer awesomeness of Honda and their “progress” , it’s satisfying to see them closer to F1.5 instead of the top 2.

      1. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
        22nd June 2019, 15:41

        @Todfod Alonso may be looking up the rules for a 3rd car after this race.

        1. A more exciting possibility would be a “privateer” entry for Alonso, allowing him to match whatever he deems fast: RB chassis and Merc PU, even if not the last generation, would be fun.

          1. Oh man, one good quali (possibly weekend) and everyone is creaming their pants.

            WOAh yea 2020 champz fo sho!

  3. The McLarens and Danny Ric make me very happy.

    Gasly and Grosjean aren’t doing much to make France happy.

    Seb just got married so he should be happy.

    I have a sneaky feeling that Lances Dad might not be happy.

    1. After Q1, I saw an image of Racing point team manager (what’s his name again) taking his phone to message/or answer a message – couldn’t help wonder if that was to Stroll senior @nullapax

      1. @boysber That would be Otmar Szafnauer, one of the contenders for best name in F1. And yeah, I had the same thought too :)

        1. Thanks yeah, Szafnauer, that’s him @tomd11

  4. it s really crazy and happy to see them on third row, but i doubt they will be keeping it that easy unless they play it cool and clever

    1. @mysticus, I think that some are suggesting this is their best qualifying performance since the 2014 Russian GP, suggesting that things are indeed beginning to turn around at McLaren now.

      I agree that it seems unlikely that they will hold both of those positions, since I expect Vettel will pass them. However, they have a chance of holding off Gasly, as McLaren can run the preferred strategy – mediums for the first stint – whilst Gasly had to run the softs, and Gasly’s performance this weekend hasn’t been great in general. Similarly, Giovinazzi is also on the soft tyres – if they can keep ahead of Ricciardo, who is also on the medium tyres, and have a clean run through to the end, I could see McLaren potentially getting a car into the top six and beating Gasly at least.

  5. Superb work by McLaren, hopefully they can capitalise on it in the race.

  6. I’m actually really excited for the race tomorrow. It was an interesting qualifying.. With some really unexpected performances.

    Some really strong performances from the Mclaren boys, Ricciardo, Giovinazzi and Hamilton. It’s shaping up to be a great midfield battle for tomorrow. Let’s hope we get Renault, Mclaren and Red bull battling it out. Also hope Bottas 2.0 shows up on raceday… And if Leclerc jumps one of the Mercedes cars on the long straight to turn 1.. Then it’s race on.

    The Frenchmen have looked incredibly poor so far. Grosjean couldn’t get a half decent lap in and Gasly looked way off the pace of his teammate even with a softer tyre compound on.

    Stroll with another regular Q1 performance. The track was evolving and his teammate went as high as P5, but Stroll looked as slow as it gets during qualifying. Lance is lucky that the Williams is so massively off the pace, or else he’d be occupying the last row of the grid on a regular basis.

    Vettel continues his streak of misery. Getting out qualified by both the Mclarens and a Red bull is almost laughable. I expect him to spiral downwards for the rest of the weekend and the season.

  7. Alex McFarlane
    22nd June 2019, 17:42

    Is it me or are Williams showing signs of turning up to the same race as everyone else?

    Still last but that 4-5 gap is now below 2 seconds.

    1. I’ve seen comments that it’s actually (one of?) their worst this year, in comparison to pole, but I agree with you, the most reasonable comparison is to the front of Q1, same track conditions, especially yesterday with the strong track evolution.

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