Red Bull’s Max Verstappen triumphed on the fifteen-cornered colosseum of the Circuit Paul Ricard, winning the French Grand Prix. Mercedes claimed the other podium slots with Lewis Hamilton coming in second and George Russell’s late manoeuvre to outdo Sergio Perez netting him third. Charles Leclerc once again retired from a race he was leading after an unforced error at turn 11.
Leclerc held the lead at the start, battling off Verstappen’s greater straight line speed to maintain his qualifying advantage. But Ferrari’s troubles would rear their ugly head again when the man from Monaco careened off the track and out of yet another race. The team’s lack of strategy would rear its ugly head later on when a great piece of one-on-one racing as Carlos Sainz tried to get ahead of Perez saw the team calling for Sainz to pit over the headset. Baffling timing from a troubled Ferrari team.
Leclerc dropping out did afford opportunities to Hamilton, who has not replicated his finest season’s this year. But the Brit saw second as a great result, even if a slow pit at the time of Leclerc’s withdrawal handed the impetus to rival Max Verstappen.
Zhou Ganyou experiencing a late technical issue created an opportunity for George Russell. The Red Bull driver seized upon Sainz, who was caught napping coming out of the restart after the virtual safety car caused by Ganyou. Russell snatched third and never gave it up, securing two podium spots for Mercedes.
Encouragement for Hamilton, a 27th F1 win for Verstappen and questions to ask for Ferrari. This Formula One season continues to throw up excitement, twists and turns. Even if some of those turns end with Leclerc spinning off into the ether again.
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