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2018 F1

Dominant Hamilton wins French Grand Prix, Vettel fifth

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Lewis Hamilton wins from Max Verstappen and takes championship lead. The Brit keep the advantage of his title rival Sebastian Vettel’s lap one incident, and the German finished on fifth.

The eighth round of 2018 F1 world championship battle ended in unusual style, with Lance Stroll blowing out a tyre in the final stage of the race, forcing the virtual safety car to be put in action in final couple of laps.

Max Verstappen of Red Bull secured second place ahead of Kimi Raikkonen claiming third. Daniel Ricciardo came home fourth to complete a very positive day for Red Bull on French soil. Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Valterri Bottas (Mercedes), Carlos Sainz (Renault), Niko Hulkenberg (Renault) and Charles Leclerc (Sauber) completed the top ten. Romain Grosjean (Haas) finished 11th as his search for his first points of the season continues.

Hamilton now sits top of the overall standings on 145 points, with Vettel second on 131, Ricciardo is third on 96 points, with Bottas fourth on 92 points and Raikkonen fifth on 83 points.

“This is a great day, I enjoyed the race. It’s the best French GP I’ve ever had,” said Hamilton post-race.

“I hadn’t thought about [leading the championship], but that’s where I want to be.”

Pre-race title leader Vettel involved in crash with Bottas on the opening lap, with the German Ferrari driver deemed to be in the wrong and slapped with a five-second penalty for his actions, from which he failed to recover from.

Verstappen, a driver who is no stranger to collisions, wryly commented that “people can make mistakes”.

“It was good. I tried to follow Lewis. He was controlling the pace. I didn’t have to work very hard for it, but it’s good to be in the podium,” continued Verstappen.

Hamilton described the first-lap incident as being “crazy”, before adding again “he took him right out, ah man, that’s crazy”, when watching TV footage of the incident post-race, adding that he was “grateful” for what he had achieved.

“I feel very grateful, grateful for a solid weekend. My guys, I have been with them for six years they are pushing the boundaries and never giving up so I want to thank them and everyone at the factory,” said Hamilton.

“This is a great day. I enjoyed the race. The weather has been good and good to see so many people here.”

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