Lewis Hamilton finished second in qualifying for the French Grand Prix on Saturday, but the difference with his major competitor and pole sitter Max Verstappen was significant.

The reigning world champion is feeling anything but comfortable at Circuit Paul Ricard for the time being.

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"It's a very, very tough weekend," said Hamilton.

"Not physically, but mentally. To get the car set up in such a way that I'm happy with it."

Mercedes was very dominant on Paul Ricard in 2018 and 2019 - the only two times that the French GP has been held since 2008 - with two wins for Hamilton.

Two years ago, the Englishman was more than a second faster than Verstappen, who then finished fourth in qualifying.

This week, Red Bull is consistently the fastest team in southeastern France.

Verstappen took pole position on Saturday with a time that was 0.258 seconds faster than Hamilton.

"You won't believe how much we've changed the car since free practice," said Hamilton.

"We went around in circles to end up in about the same place where we started. I've actually been unhappy in the car all weekend."

Top ten qualification

  • 1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull): 1,29.990

  • 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): +0.258

  • 3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): +0.386

  • 4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull): +0.455

  • 5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari): +0.850

  • 6. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri): +0.878

  • 7. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): +0.997

  • 8. Lando Norris (McLaren): +1,262

  • 9. Fernando Alonso (Alpine): +1,350

  • 10. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren): +1,392

'I believe there will be some rain tomorrow'

The seven-time world champion, who is four points behind Verstappen in the World Cup position, is hopeful that he can achieve something in the race on Sunday (start at 3 p.m.).

"Red Bull was about two tenths per lap faster than us in the long runs in practice, but our car is very different now than it was then," said Hamilton.

"I'm going to fight for a chance in the first corner and I believe there might be some rain tomorrow. We'll keep fighting."

Pole position number five for Max Verstappen.

And that on Mercedes track Paul Ricard.๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ2019๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท2019๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช2020๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ญ2021๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท2021 #F1

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AuthorPatrickMoekeMoment of places14: 36 - June 19, 2021