Lewis Hamilton took the 86th pole of his F1 career in Saturday at Paul Ricard, heading up a front row lock-out for MercedesAMG.
Mr. Hamilton set a new track record en route to Top spot, beating teammate Valtteri Bottas by almost 1/10th of a sec in Q-3.
MercedesAMG’s performance saw it comprehensively beat Ferrari (NYSE:RACE), with Mr. Hamilton finishing 6/10th of a sec clear of Charles Leclerc in P3.
Mr. Leclerc was left to lead Ferrari’s charge after Sebastian Vettel could only muster 7th on the grid, having lost his 1st lap in Q3 to a missed up-shift, with a weak 2nd effort leaving him 1.4 secs off the pace.
Max Verstappen managed to take 4th place for Red Bull Racing with his final run in Q3, narrowly beating the McLaren pair of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz.
Mr. Verstappen said some setup changes were made on his car after FP3 following a difficult morning, and while he said Mercedes would be out of reach in the race, he felt battling with Ferrari for the final podium position would be possible.
Pierre Gasly had a more difficult session in the second Red Bull, qualifying down in ninth place. Mr. Gasly got through Q2 on Softs, with all of the top eight runners doing so on Mediums, and then ran Mediums early in Q3, only to drop off the pace. Gasly said he too made setup changes, albeit going in the wrong direction to leave him struggling.
Messrs Norris and Sainz’s lock-out of the 3rd row marked McLaren’s best qualifying result since Austria 2016 and the best collective team Saturday result since Y 2014. Norris said he fancied a fight with Red Bull in the race on Sunday, adding: “Fifth onwards, I think we can be happy.”
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl confirmed on Saturday that the company’s board had approved the construction of a new wind tunnel at the McLaren Technology Centre, which will be completed in the next two years.
Ferrari is the Aristocrat of the automotive sector.
The iconic Italian Supercar manufacturer claimed the title according to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 2019 report launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
HeffX-LTN overall technical outlook for RACE is Very Bullish, there no overhead resistance now, and support at 159.19, all Key indicators are Very Bullish in here. Ferrari finished at 162.21 + 1.05, or 0.35% on the day in NY Friday.
SUNDAY, 23 JUNE
— F1 French Grand Prix, Le Castellet, France; 9a, ESPN (L)
— F1 French Grand Prix, Le Castellet, France; 7p, ESPNEWS (S)
— F1 French Grand Prix, Le Castellet, France; 10p, ESPN2 (S)
Tune and enjoy the racing this weekend.