Can Hamilton and Verstappen bounce back in France?

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The drivers are in France for the next race in the F1 2021 season and qualifying have just finished. Who takes pole position and what does the front of the pack look like?

Table of Contents

So, keep reading to find out everything you need to know ahead of the French Grand Prix weekend.

LATEST - Verstappen Takes Pole, Hamilton In 2nd

Max Verstappen was the only driver to break 1:30, just about, with a final time of 1:29:990. Lewis Hamilton came in 2nd, +0.258 behind the Dutch superstar.


The battle for second place went down to the wire a Perez and Bottas took turns holding the position with personal best session times before Hamilton came in at the last moment to secure the spot.

In a race notorious for its overtaking opportunities, it will be very interesting to see if the top 4 can hold onto their positions.

Verstappen tops second practice at Paul Ricard, just 0.008s quicker than Bottas

Verstappen began on medium tyres and clattered his front wing on the Turn 2 kerbs, bringing out a Virtual Safety Car after 15 minutes – but shrugged that off to set the quickest time of 1m32.872s on softs – just 0.008s faster than Bottas' best time, which was set on medium tyres.

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RAPID RED BULL: Can Verstappen bounce back in France?

Credit: F1


Reigning champion Hamilton was 0.253s off Verstappen, having complained of car balance issues during his race simulations.

Incidentally, the Silver Arrows swapped Hamilton and Bottas' chassis for this weekend – something they said is customary at this point of the season – but insisted that there would be no performance difference due to the swap.

French GP Circuit Guide

The drivers will head to the Circuit Paul Ricard for the French Grand Prix.

french grand prix f1 2021 circuit Circuit Paul Ricard
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CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD: Formula 1 hit the Circuit Paul Ricard in 1971, with Jackie Stewart winning the inaugural race in his Tyrrell 003

Credit: F1


The Circuit Paul Ricard’s even distribution of high, medium and low-speed corners is a key reason why it’s one of the most used test circuits in the world, along with the typically good weather.

Number of Laps: 53

Circuit Length: 5.842km

Race Distance: 309.69 km

Lap Record: 1:32.740 - Sebastian Vettel (2019)

French Grand Prix Weekend Timetable

Check out all the dates and times you need to know below.

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RESPECT: Mercedes and Red Bull are no doubt the front runners for the 2021 F1 Championship

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Practice 1 - Friday, 18 June - 5:30-6:30am / 10:30-11:30am BST / 11:30-12:30pm CET

Practice 2 - Friday, 18 June - 9-10am ET / 2-3m BST / 3-4pm CET

Practice 3 - Saturday, 19 June - 6-7am ET / 11am-12pm BST / 12pm-1pm CET

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Qualifying - Saturday, 19 June - 9-10am ET / 2-3pm BST / 3-4pm CET

Race - Sunday, 20 June - 9-11am ET / 2-4pm BST / 3-5pm CET

How to watch the French Grand Prix

You can watch the French Grand Prix and every other race, qualifying and practise sessions this season, on Sky Sports F1, which costs £18 per month on Sky TV, or £43 per month if you are new to Sky.

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NEW BEGINNINGS: Ricciardo swears to ‘leave nothing on the table’ as McLaren debut season arrives

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You can also watch the French Grand Prix using Now TV, which offers Sky Sports Day Passes for £9.98, or monthly passes for £33.99.

Sky Sports French GP Schedule

  • Practice 1 - From 10am on Friday, 18 June (Sky Sports F1 HD)
  • Practice 2 - From 1:45pm on Friday, 18 June (Sky Sports F1 HD)
  • Practice 3 - From 10:45am on Saturday, 19 June (Sky Sports F1 HD)
  • Qualifying - From 1pm on Saturday, 19 June (Sky Sports F1 HD)
  • Grand Prix Sunday - From 12:30pm (Race from 2pm) on Sunday, 20 June (Sky Sports F1 HD)

All times UK.

There will also be extended highlights of the French GP on Channel 4.

Channel 4 French GP Schedule

  • Qualifying Highlights - Saturday, 19 June (time tbc)
  • Grand Prix Highlights - Sunday, 20 June (time tbc)

All times UK.

In the USA, it's ESPN that will be providing comprehensive coverage of the 2021 French Grand Prix and provide races on every other circuit in the months to come.

ESPN French Schedule

  • Practice 1 - Friday, 18 June - From 5:25am (ESPN 2)
  • Practice 2 - Friday, 18 June - From 8:55am (ESPN U)
  • Practice 3 - Saturday, 19 June - From 5:55am (ESPN 2)
  • Qualifying - Saturday, 19 June - From 8:55am (ESPN 2)
  • Grand Prix Sunday - Sunday, 20 June - From 7:30am (race at 9am) (ESPN)

All times Eastern.

US fans can also watch live F1 on YouTube TV, Sling TV and FuboTV.

Driver Standings

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez claimed a surprise victory at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after a sprint to the finish saw Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton lock up into Turn 1 at the restart.

As a result, the Briton finished outside of the points.

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DRAMATIC FINISH: Both Championship leaders, Verstappen and Hamilton, failed to finish the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Credit: F1


Main championship rival, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, also finished out of the points following a bizarre crash which saw his left rear Pirelli tyre receive a puncture. Hamilton also finishing outside of the points negated this.

Sebastian Vettel bagged his first points of the season in Monaco and claimed the teams’ first ever F1 podium in Azerbaijan.

The German drove a solid race, running long in the first stint and saving a set of fresh tyres for the sprint finish - Vettel has moved into the top ten in the standings.

Constructor Standings

Red Bull have pulled further ahead in the 2021 Constructor Championship!

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PULLING AWAY: Perez's win in Baku increases Red Bull's lead at the top of the constructor standings

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Aston Martin climb the leaderboard, following an excellent first podium finish from Sebastian Vettel in Baku.

The Haas and Williams teams are still both yet to score points this season.