Hamilton wins pole position in French Grand Prix

Lynette Rowe
June 28, 2018

With his 65th Formula One victory for Mercedes, Britain's Lewis Hamilton retakes the overall lead from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who finished fifth after a first lap collision.

"I am happy with it but I am always trying for perfection", he said. It felt like I was playing catch-up all day after I missed a lot of track time in FP2 track time in FP3 was limited for everyone.

"Over the long run I was able to play a little more and find some (driving) lines".

"But there's a long way to go and we'll keep approaching the rest of the season like we approached today".

The morning session ended with a scare for Sauber's Marcus Ericsson after his vehicle burst into flames when he spun out of control and slammed into a barrier.

Ricciardo, victor of two races this season and still mulling his future options, was third fastest for Red Bull in the first session in 1:32.527.

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Hamilton will start the race on the supersoft tyres, as will Bottas and the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton also had a close call when forced to swerve off course to avoid ramming Stoffel Vandoorne and slalomed around two rows of bollards before returning to the flow.

The four-time world champion took his first pole position in France for 10 years, but said that he was not at his best in the final part of qualifying.

New Zealander Brendon Hartley spun his Toro Rosso to set the tone before Frenchman Esteban Ocon spun his Force India and both Saubers followed suit.

Williams and McLaren, two of the sport's most successful teams who are going through hard times, continued to struggle.

Hamilton lost his lead in the standings to Vettel two weeks ago when Mercedes couldn't deliver a planned engine upgrade on time. I remember the last race at Paul Ricard in 1990, but I never got the chance to compete.

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