Leclerc grabs pole for French Grand Prix

Sports Desk, Jul 23 (EFE).- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) finished first Saturday in qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of France, while the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio “Checo” Perez claimed the second and third spots, respectively.

The man from nearby Monaco set a fastest lap of 1:30.872 around Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, three-tenth of a second quicker than the Dutchman.

It was the seventh pole of the season for the 24-year-old Leclerc and the 16th of his F1 career.

Mexico’s Perez was just 0.159s slower than his teammate, the defending F1 champion, and will share the second row with seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), whose fellow Britons, Lando Norris (McLaren) and George Russell (Mercedes), locked down the third row on the grid.

Spaniard Fernando Alonso (Alpine), a two-time F1 champion, was seventh, followed by Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Spanish compatriot Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Dane Kevin Magnussen (Haas).

But because of engine penalties, Sainz and Magnussen will start Sunday’s race from the 10th row, meaning that P9 and P10 go to Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) and France’s own Esteban Ocon (Alpine), respectively.

After 11 rounds, Verstappen leads the driver standings with 208 points, 38 better than Leclerc.

Perez is third with 151 points, followed by Russell (128) and Hamilton (109). EFE arh/dr

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