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Formula 1

Hamilton denies Vettel drivers' lead with French GP win

Sebastian Vettel's time at the top of the drivers' standings was quickly ended by champion Lewis Hamilton at the French Grand Prix.

Hamilton denies Vettel drivers' lead with French GP win
Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton regained the lead in the Formula One drivers' standings from Sebastian Vettel by cruising to victory at the French Grand Prix on Sunday.

Mercedes driver Hamilton was leapfrogged by Vettel last time out in Montreal, but he opened a 14-point advantage at the summit by converting his 75th pole position into a win at the first F1 race in France since 2008.

The reigning champion saw his chances of succeeding at Circuit Paul Ricard boosted by a first-turn collision between Vettel and Valtteri Bottas for which the former received a five-second time penalty.

Max Verstappen benefitted from the German and Bottas having to pit twice as he claimed second, but Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was pipped to third by Kimi Raikkonen.

Forecasts of rain never materialised in Le Castellet, but a couple of collisions – one of which ruled home hopes Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon out of the remainder – on a dramatic first lap led to the safety car being deployed.

Vettel received a new nose and set of soft tyres, Bottas going onto the same compound after ending up with a puncture, but he was unable to guide them to the end of the race and could only finish fifth.

It meant there was minimal pressure on Hamilton for much of the race, as he comfortably kept the Red Bulls at arm's length to clinch his third win of the season on the back of a disappointing outing in Canada.


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