Paul Ricard pole-sitter Carlos Sainz Jr. is pleased to claim a Formula Renault 3.5 pole position for the first time since the German round in July.

The Spaniard will be joined on the front row by fellow Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly. His main championship rival Roberto Merhi will start from fourth on the grid.

"It's great!" the championship leader told Crash.net . "After our difficult Friday, it is good to be back on pole position again."

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When asked how he improved on his fourteenth place on Friday to secure race one pole, the 19-year-old explained that his car is improving on the French circuit with each lap.

"We managed to turn things around after practice," he explained. "I couldn't put a lap together but finally today we improved both me and myself and managed to get the pole."

Although he starts from the front row, Sainz remains realistic about his chances, admitting that improvements still need to be made.

"This does not always mean we will be the strongest in the race so we need to work to get the win," he continues. "There are eighteen drivers within one second which means everyone will be more or less the same pace. We are focusing on ourselves and looking forward".

Sainz currently holds a sixteen point lead over his nearest rival Roberto Merhi with four races still remaining. Caterham FP1 recruit Merhi will start from fourth on the grid.