French GP: Verstappen charges to victory after late Hamilton pass

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Max Verstappen produced a brilliant charge to catch and pass Lewis Hamilton for victory at the French Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver lost the lead, regained it and then used a two-stop strategy to overtake both Mercedes' in the closing laps for his third win of the season.

Hamilton had to settle for second for Mercedes, with Sergio Perez using his tyre management to claim third, ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

Race As It Happened:

Verstappen led away off the line at the start but ran wide at Turn 1 giving Hamilton the lead.


The first stint was all about tyre management as degradation proved much higher than expected on the medium tyre.

One team struggling less was McLaren as Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris made their way past Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc.

The Monegasque would trigger several pit-stops in the midfield around 10 laps earlier than predicted, while others stayed out.

It was then the power of the undercut became apparent as the Ferrari was able to repass Ricciardo, who stopped soon after.

Among the leaders, Bottas was the first to pit to try and get ahead of Verstappen.

Instead, not only was Red Bull able to pit Max and stay in front, the Dutchman was able to retake the lead from Hamilton after his pit-stop.


Sergio Perez went longer in the second Red Bull, putting his renowned tyre management skills to maximum use.

After the stops, Verstappen became the chased with both Mercedes' close behind but degradation on the hard tyre also proved higher than expected. 

That triggered Red Bull to pit Max again for mediums in a repeat situation from the Spanish GP, but this time with Verstappen on the charge.

And the Dutch lion didn't disappoint catching and passing Bottas easily after the Finn went too deep into the Mistral chicane.

Next up it was Hamilton, who gave it everything to claim his third Paul Ricard win, but it wasn't enough as the flying Verstappen caught and passed the Mercedes on the penultimate lap to take an incredible victory.


Perez's longer first stint also paid dividends as the Mexican took third from Bottas late on to give Red Bull a double podium finish.

In the midfield, McLaren continued their rapid pace after the pit-stop phase with Norris doing a Perez by going long and coming back through to take fifth ahead of teammate Ricciardo.

Pierre Gasly pushed the Australian hard in the final laps but was still the lead French driver in seventh, just ahead of Fernando Alonso in eighth for Alpine.

Aston Martin rounded out the top 10, with Sebastian Vettel ninth and Lance Stroll 10th.

The big losers of the day were Ferrari who suffered worst with tyre wear. Carlos Sainz dropped to 11th with Charles Leclerc down in 16th.

George Russell had his best result of the season in 12th ahead of Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon, who'll be very disappointed in 14th.

Antonio Giovinazzi was 15th with Alfa Romeo teammate Kimi Raikkonen 17th. Nicholas Latifi took 18th with the two Haas cars at the back as Mick Schumacher led teammate Nikita Mazepin.

Back at the front, Max Verstappen's win sees him increase his championship lead to 12 points over Lewis Hamilton with a pair of races at Red Bull's home track in Austria to come!

Full results from the race can be seen below: