French Grand Prix – Qualifying

The Austrian Grand Prix ended early for SAI with his Ferrari engine going up in flames, so he has some new power unit components and the associated penalty means he’ll start the race at the back of the grid. MAG also has a penalty for an assortment of engine changes. [F1]

LEC was fastest in FP1, SAI in FP2, and VER in FP3
With SAI’s penalty meaning there will only be one Ferrari at the front, will Ferrari ask SAI to give LEC a tow to help his challenge for pole?

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Air temperature 31°C; track 55°C – it’s hot and dry, with zero chance of rain but it is windy
SCH 1:33.858
STR 1:33.844
GAS 1:33.696
LEC 1:31.727
(PER P2)
(VER P2)
Radio from VER complaining about teammate PER not moving off the racing line
HAM finds traffic in the final turn; he’s only P7
(SAI P3)
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are ZHO, SCH, LAT, VET, MAG (MAG has yet to set a time)
ZHO loses the tail out of Turn 6 but wrestles the Alfa Romeo to keep it pointing forward
ALB spins; yellow flag while he gets the Williams back onto the track
Chequered flag
ZHO still P16
SCH goes P10; STR down to P16
VET P11, ALB P16
MAG completes his single lap, goes P6
RIC and SCH have lap times deleted for exceeding track limits – SCH back to P19
Back of the grid: GAS, STR, ZHO, SCH, LAT

Radio for SCH telling him his lap time was deleted for crossing the line at Turn 3; team says they’re talking with race control
Replay shows SCH was over the line as he hit the apex

Qualifying session 2
HAM 1:33.329 but did he cut Turn 3 too?
NOR 1:32.777
LEC 1:32.587
PER 1:32.120
VER 1:31.990 even though he struggled for grip in the final corner
SAI 1:31.081
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are VET, RUS, OCO, ALB, TSU
Just SAI and VER remain in the pits
ALB P10; BOT P11
OCO P6; ALB P11
VET P11
BOT P7; HAM P11
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are HAM, VET, ALB, RUS, TSU
TSU P6; ALO P11
ALO P5; RIC P11
(LEC P2)
RUS P6; MAG P11
RIC P9; BOT P11
MAG P7; OCO P11
HAM P5; RIC P11
Middle of the grid: RIC, OCO, BOT, VET, ALB

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between SAI*, LEC, VER, PER, HAM, ALO, RUS, MAG*, NOR and TSU
(*SAI and MAG have grid penalties to be applied)
Shuffling around on the out lap, with SAI trying to position himself to give LEC a tow
Tactics aren’t usually Ferrari’s strength but this looks well orchestrated
PER 1:31.640
ALO P2
LEC 1:31.209
TSU P4
VER P2
HAM P4
RUS P4
NOR P6
Order after first run: LEC, VER, PER, RUS, HAM, NOR, ALO, TSU; no time from SAI or MAG
Everyone on track for a final run
SAI’s going to tow LEC again
Chequered flag
LEC 1:30.872
VER P2
HAM P4
RUS P5
NOR P5
Front of the grid: LEC, VER, PER, HAM, NOR, RUS, ALO, TSU, SAI, MAG

Provisional grid: LEC, VER, PER, HAM, NOR, RUS, ALO, TSU, SAI*, MAG*, RIC, OCO, BOT, VET, ALB, GAS, STR, ZHO, SCH, LAT
*SAI and MAG will drop to P19 and P20

[2022 calendar and line-up]

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