F1: Hamilton continues Mercedes Dominance in Paul Ricard

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Lewis Hamilton dominated the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard; his fourth consecutive victory of 2019.

Hamilton led every lap of the race as he held off Valtteri Bottas into Turn 1, keeping his lead when he made his only stop. Controlling the race from lights to flag.

Hamilton: “I’ve been racing a long time but it never gets old. I couldn’t do what I do without this incredible team. We’re making history together. I’m really hyped.”

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel extended his first stint in a bid to recover from his disappointing qualifying on Saturday.

Unfortunately he could only manage fifth place, however the German driver did pit late on for fresh tyres, taking the point for fastest lap in the process.

Bottas who came home second, crossed the line over 15 seconds behind Hamilton came under pressure from Charles Leclerc on the last lap.

However, the Finn was able to hold off the Ferrari securing Mercedes’ sixth 1-2 of the season.

Lewis Hamilton leads the way into Turn 1 at the start of the 2019 French Grand Prix. Image sourced from @pirellisport via Twitter.

Bottas: “The start was my best bet but Lewis had a good one, too. Ultimately, Lewis was quicker today. He was really strong and consistent, he’s not unbeatable, I just need to work hard.”

Leclerc came in home third for his third podium finish of the year for the Scuderia.

Leclerc: “I gave it everything. I felt ok with the car but the Mercedes were too quick early on.

“We did a great job with tyre management and I was catching Valtteri for P2, but ran out of laps.” added Leclerc.

Charles Leclerc’s performance at Paul Ricard this weekend has saved Ferraris blushes. Image sourced from @ShellMotorsport via Twitter.

Max Verstappen had a somber race to fourth place, while his Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly had a shocking race once again finishing in eleventh.

Carlos Sainz & Lando Norris looked set for a sixth and seventh respectively, only for the latter to suffer a hydraulic issue late on.

Ricciardo closed up to the rookie as a result and made a controversial move on Norris at the chicane along the Mistral Straight, forcing Norris wide on the exit, dropping him from seventh to tenth.

Kimi Räikkönen then shuffled past both of them before Ricciardo came back at him.

Then the Aussie put all four wheels over the white lines to get the move done and demoted Räikkönen and Nico Hülkenberg to seventh and eighth respectively.

The pace shown by Lando Norris (pictured) and Carlos Sainz Jr is proof that McLaren are on the up. Image sourced from @SkySportsF1 via Twitter

After the race the stewards investigated both incidents and awarded Ricciardo two five-second time penalties, one for “rejoining the track in an unsafe manner” and the other for “leaving the track and gaining an advantage.”

The decision sees the Renault drop from seventh to eleventh, moving Pierre Gasly into the points at his home grand prix. While also promoting Räikkönen, Hülkenberg and Norris up to seventh, eighth and ninth respectively.

Although it isn’t much consolation to Norris, the young rookie managed to pick up the driver of the day award for his efforts.

Final Classification for the 2019 French Grand Prix:

1 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

2 Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes

3 Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

4 Max Verstappen, Red Bull-Honda

5 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

6 Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren-Renault

7 Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

8 Nico Hulkenberg, Renault

9 Lando Norris, McLaren-Renault

10 Pierre Gasly, Red Bull-Honda

11 Daniel Ricciardo, Renault

12 Sergio Perez, Racing Point-Mercedes

13 Lance Stroll, Racing Point-Mercedes

14 Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso-Honda

15 Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso-Honda

16 Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

17 Kevin Magnussen, Haas-Ferrari

18 Robert Kubica, Williams-Mercedes

19 George Russell, Williams-Mercedes

NC Romain Grosjean, Haas-Ferrari [Retired]

F1 heads to the Red Bull Ring in less then a weeks time for the Austrian Grand Prix on the 28-30 of June.

We’ll see you then!

 

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