F1: Max Verstappen stars in Red Bull 1-3 at French GP

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Verstappen used a two-stop strategy to first reduce Hamilton to take the lead and then pass him on the penultimate lap of the race.

Verstappen now leads the world championship by 12 points
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Verstappen now leads the world championship by 12 points

Max Verstappen had an impeccable race after ceding the lead to Lewis Hamilton with a mistake in the first corner to win the French GP at Paul Ricard. Verstappen used a two-stop strategy to first reduce Hamilton to take the lead, then pass him on the penultimate lap of the race to secure an assault victory. He was followed by Hamilton who masterfully drove a single jobsite strategy that many believed was not optimal for heavily degraded tires on the track.

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Red Bull’s Sergio Perez also had a masterful tire strategy, grooming his gum in the first stint, which allowed him to run longer than most cars on the track. This meant that at the end of the race he was in a good position to overtake the second Mercedes driven by Valtteri Bottas who finished P4.

Both McLaren cars were far behind the leaders but both finished decisively P5 and P6, far ahead of the two Ferraris who had a disastrous run out of points in P11 and P16. Lando Norris beat teammate Daniel Ricciardo again although this time the most experienced Australian qualified ahead of him. McLaren generally showed a good race pace supported by minimal tire degradation, which allowed both cars to execute a one-stop strategy. This means McLaren overtakes Ferrari for the P3 in the constructors’ world championship.

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Verstappen passed Hamilton on the penultimate lap of the race

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Behind them, Pierre Gasly in the AlphaTauri in P7 followed by Fernando Alonso in the Alpine in P8. The Aston Martin pair of Vettel and Stroll finished 9th and 10th, both executing another pitstop strategy.

Carlos Sainz Jr fell behind starting from P5 to P11, using a one stop strategy. George Russell finished in an excellent P12 for Williams, followed by Yuki Tsunoda in the second AlphaTauri whose run was ruined in qualifying where he fell and had to change gears which triggered a penalty.

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Hamilton’s Mercedes took the lead after a Verstappen mistake

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Esteban Ocon finished P14 in the other Alpine, a disappointing home race for the Frenchman. Antonio Giovinazzi finished shockingly ahead of Charles Leclerc, the poleman of the last two races in P15. Leclerc really had the shock of a race with a strong degradation during his two stints.

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Kimi Raikkonen finished in P17 for Alpha Romeo again behind teammate Giovinazzi. Nicholas Latifi finished in P18 ahead of the Haas pair of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. There was no quitting and Russell’s performance also meant Williams passed Haas for 9th place in the Constructors’ Championship.

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