Hamilton takes pole position for French GP; Vettel 7th

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland steers his car during the qualifying session at the Paul Ricard racetrack in Le Castellet, southern France, Saturday, June 22, 2019. The French Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Lewis Hamilton again peaked when it mattered to clinch a record-extending 86th career pole position at the French Grand Prix on Saturday

LE CASTELLET, France — Lewis Hamilton again peaked when it mattered to clinch a record-extending 86th career pole position at the French Grand Prix on Saturday.

The five-time Formula One world champion finished 0.286 seconds ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who was quickest in the first two sections of qualifying and had earlier topped the third and final practice session.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc placed third with Red Bull's Max Verstappen fourth.

It was a disappointing performance from Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who took pole at the Canadian GP two weeks ago but this time qualified a lowly seventh.

The four-time world champion was beaten by McLaren drivers Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris — a 19-year-old driver competing in his debut F1 season.

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