Hamilton outruns a hectic start in France

Lewis Hamilton extended his lead by winning the French grand prix, with title rival Vettel being involved in an early accident.

The Mercedes of Hamilton cruised to victory and a 14 point lead over Vettel, who finished an admirable fifth after fighting back through the pack.

Vettel had a great start and a strong tow behind the two Mercedes, he was caught out by his pace and locked up into the first corner, hitting Bottas, breaking his own wing and leaving the Fin with a puncture.

After a limp back to the pits, both changed to soft tyres, with the intention of not stopping again.

At the same corner, Gasly lost control of his Toro Rosso and hit Ocon, meaning both did not finish their home race.

A safety car was deployed and once debris was clear and racing resumed, Hamilton built a lead on Verstappen. Ricciardo lost some ground but eventually overtook Sainz to take third.

Meanwhile, Vettel was fighting through the field, ending up in the top five and eventually into a podium position when his teammate, Raikkonen and Ricciardo pitted for tyres. He was not able to keep the pace and was eventually passed by Kimi, evidently he did not want to lose too much time fighting as he was also slapped with a five second penalty for the first lap incident.

Ricciardo finished just behind Kimi after some back and forth, a simple draft move into the chicane sealed the deal.

Vettel was struggling on tyres but was gifted a pitstop when Bottas was called in by Mercedes, who did managed to get back to 7th, behind Haas’ Magnussen.

Sainz almost saw his race slip away with a lack of power but managed to hold onto 9th, leading Hulkenberg and Leclerc, who is now on a roll of scoring points.

Stroll went out late in the race with a front tyre giving up and Perez had a suspected engine issue, forcing him to stop.

f1_frenchgpresult

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