MAX VERSTAPPEN stormed to pole position at the French Grand Prix after holding off Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
The Dutch star, 23, recorded the only sub-1:30.00 lap to grab the top spot on the grid for Red Bull in Sunday’s race for the first time since the 2021 opener in Bahrain.
Verstappen will now start on the front row alongside Hamilton, with Bottas and team-mate Perez in third and fourth respectively.
Pierre Gasly took sixth place to split the two Ferraris, with Carlos Sainz enjoying a better afternoon than team-mate Charles Leclerc, who struggled in pursuit of a third straight pole.
Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo completed the top ten after an exciting afternoon of racing at the Circuit Paul Ricard.
Verstappen had gone quickest in Q1, marginally ahead of Hamilton, team-mate Perez and Bottas.
But the big story came further down the grid, as Mick Schumacher reached Q2 for the first time in his fledgling career after finishing 14th.
In a cruel twist of fate, though, the son of F1 legend Michael crashed having already set his Q1 time, with the red flag waved, cutting the session short.
That meant Schumacher was unable to push for a spot in Q3, sitting out the second session and will start Sunday’s race from 15th.
Yuki Tsunoda will start from the back of the grid after failing to set a time following a crash early in the session.
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Lance Stroll, Nikita Mazepin, Kimi Raikkonen and Nicholas Latifi also failed to make it to Q2.
Joining Schumacher in failing to make it to Q3 where George Russell, Antonio Giovinazzi, Sebastian Vettel and Esteban Ocon after a much less eventful session.
Mercedes stormed to the top two positions in Q2, with Bottas and Hamilton leading Red Bull pair Perez and Verstappen.
But Verstappen ensured Mercedes didn’t secure their first pole since Spain – bagging Red Bull’s first top spot on the grid since the opening race of the season in Bahrain.
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