LE CASTELLET: Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton roared back to form yesterday to put his Mercedes on pole position for the first French Grand Prix in a decade.
The pole, in a time of one minute 30.029 seconds, was his third of the year and pushed his Formula One record to 75.
Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas, who had gone top moments earlier, had to settle for second – just 0.118 of a second slower – as the Silver Arrows locked out the front row in style.
Ferrari’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel, a point ahead of the Briton after seven of 21 races, qualified in third place.
Yesterday’s race will be the first French Grand Prix since Magny-Cours in 2008 and the first held at the southern Le Castellet circuit since 1990.
l Force India have been fined 100,000 euros ($116,550), with 85,000 of the total suspended for a year, after a rear wheel flew off Sergio Perez’s Formula One car at speed in French Grand Prix practice.
The team were also told by stewards yesterday to investigate their assembly and quality control procedures to ensure such a potentially dangerous accident did not happen again.