French Grand Prix LIVE: Can Max Verstappen extend his World Championship lead from pole position or will Lewis Hamilton claw back the deficit? Follow all the action here
- RedBull’s Max Verstappen starts on pole position at the Paul Ricard circuit
- Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are second and third respectively
- Sergio Perez was victorious last time out at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix
- Latest Formula One news, including race build-up and reaction
The Formula One season continues in France this weekend as Max Verstappen looks to extend his World Championship lead at the Paul Ricard circuit.
The RedBull driver will start the race on pole after qualifying fastest on Saturday, with Championship rival and seven-time world champion Hamilton next to him on the front of the grid.
Valtteri Bottas is in third, with Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz in fourth and fifth respectively.
Sportsmail’s KIERAN LYNCH will provide live coverage of the French Grand Prix, including all the build-up, updates and race.
Carlos Sainz who starts fifth has had a huge moment on his way to the grid!
The Spaniard has a huge lock-up at Beausset and he tells his team that he’s flat-spotted his tyres.
Not what he wants half an hour before the race!
George Russell is still waiting for his first points in the Williams and his best chance might be if it rains this afternoon.
We’ll have to wait and see but it would surely make things interesting!
Toto Wolff has been speaking to Sky F1 and said that sacrifices may have to be made later into the season due to next season’s rule changes.
He said: ‘They (Red Bull) are the strongest they’ve been so far but it’s also about winning this year v next year and the years that follow. You try to be competitive over a long time.
‘Sometimes that means you have to sacrifice short term. That doesn’t mean we want to sacrifice the championship, we’re very very far away from that but I think the key is understanding the tyres and doing a solid job without many mistakes.’
The Red Bulls are very keen as they lead the pack away to make their way to the grid with Max Verstappen making his practice start followed by Sergio Perez.
We are 40 minutes away until lights out.
Lewis Hamilton hit back at Sky Sports pundit Paul di Resta for peddling a ‘myth’ ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session for the French Grand Prix.
Although the defending world champion was beaten to pole by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and will start from second on the grid, he was at least content to believe he had nailed a theory aired on TV the day before.
The spat revolved around Di Resta saying he thought Hamilton would ‘want his chassis back’. This remark was prompted by the two Mercedes drivers having swapped the frames of their cars for this weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard and, on the evidence of Friday’s practice sessions, Bottas being faster than Hamilton.
To read more click below
If there was anyone who needs a good race at Paul Richard this afternoon then it’s Valtteri Bottas.
Rumours continue to circle over his future at Mercedes, and he has not scored a point in the last two races.
Monaco wasn’t his fault, but he was extremely off the pace in Baku finishing 12th despite having no issues in the race.
Bottas could do himself and his team a favour if he’s able to affect the battle at the front this afternoon.
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix was one that both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton would like to forget about quickly.
Verstappen drove serenely at the front until his late tyre blowout while Hamilton scored no points after his mistake from the restart – in fact he has only scored seven points in two races!
Just four points separate the pair going into the race, so a win for Hamilton could put him top of the tree going into the double header in Austria.
While there weren’t as many accidents as qualifying in Baku, two crashes affected the first part of qualifying yesterday.
AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda will start from the pit-lane after his crash just three minutes into the session.
Mick Schumacher made Q2 for the first time in his career despite his accident, but presently it looks like he won’t need to replace his gearbox and take a penalty so he will stay in P15.
Despite Mercedes’ disappointment over the past two races, many felt that the French Grand Prix would be one that suits the Brackley outfit.
Lewis Hamilton has won both times since the French Grand Prix returned to the calendar in 2018, but it was Max Verstappen who got the pole on Saturday by 0.258 seconds.
There have been several races this season though where the Mercedes look to be the quicker car on the Sunday, so don’t rule them out.
For a full recap of qualifying click below
And welcome to Sportsmail’s coverage of the French Grand Prix.
Though we’re not expecting the bedlam of Baku, it’s shaping up to be an intriguing race with the two title rivals on the front row with championship leader Max Verstappen starting ahead of Lewis Hamilton with their respective teammates on the second row.
There has been rain at the track this morning though it is dry presently, but potentially something to watch out for.
Stay tuned for build-up, race action and the result.
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