Hamilton claims victory in dominant Mercedes 1-2 – Race Report

Paul Ricard, France

French Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has claimed victory in France, comfortably leading home his teammate Valtteri Bottas. Charles Leclerc finished P3 for Ferrari.

After starting from pole position, Lewis Hamilton has taken a dominant victory over Valtteri Bottas. Holding his lead from the start, Hamilton slowly but surely pulled away from Bottas to enjoy an almost ten second lead over Bottas by the time he pitted on Lap 25.

Employing a one stop strategy, Hamilton came out still leading and pounded out the laps to win by eighteen seconds over Bottas.

Bottas finished a distant P2, having also used a one stop strategy to run the Hard tyres for the second stint of the race.

Charles Leclerc was P3, finishing just half a second behind Bottas. He was 16 seconds ahead of Max Verstappen at the chequered flag

Sebastian Vettel finished P5 for Ferrari. Having started from P7, he overtook the two McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz in the opening laps of the race and, despite running a long first stint on the Mediums to try bringing himself into play for a possible podium, couldn’t get any further than P5. Due to his large gap over P6, Vettel pitted again on Lap 51 to take on the Soft tyres and take the extra point for the fastest race lap.

Carlos Sainz finished P6 for McLaren, finishing over thirty seconds behind Vettel despite the Ferrari’s late race extra pit stop. Daniel Ricciardo finished P7 for Renault after a late race squabble with his teammate, Lando Norris, and Kimi Raikkonen. Ricciardo overtook Raikkonen on the final straight but his overtaking move is likely to be investigated after all four wheels left the track during the manoeuvre. Kimi Raikkonen finished P8 as Alfa Romeo finally got back into the points after three bad weekends in a row.

Nico Hulkenberg finished P9 in the second Renault, while Lando Norris went from P7 to P10 on the final lap. He struggled with a late race hydraulic issue and, trying to fight off the cars behind him, ran wide at the chicane and lost out to all three drivers. However, he still managed to bring home a point despite the issue.

Pierre Gasly finished outside the points in P11, coming home five seconds behind Norris. This was after running an opening 18 lap stint on the Soft tyre before swapping to the Hard tyre.

Sergio Perez finished P12, leading home his teammate Lance Stroll. Perez was given a five second time penalty for gaining an advantage by going off track on the opening lap but still managed to come home ahead of Stroll – Lance having worked his way up to P6 at one point after a very long opening stint on the Hard tyre before a swap to the Mediums.

Daniil Kvyat finished P14 ahead of Alex Albon in the Toro Rosso battle, while Antonio Giovinazzi was P16 in the second Alfa Romeo.

Kevin Magnussen was P17 on a bad day for Haas, as both Haas drivers struggled for pace at any stage of the race. Romain Grosjean retired towards the end of the race, having languished down in P18.

With no other cars retiring, Robert Kubica was P18 and nine seconds ahead of George Russell.

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Thomas Maher

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