French GP: Verstappen Wins, Mercedes Finish 2-3, As Leclerc Does Not Finish
Written By Uche Dozie
Max Verstappen gets number twenty-seventh race win amidst Mercedes season’s beat performance and Charles Leclerc crash.
Max Verstappen of RedBull increased his lead in the driver’s standings after his win at the French Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Dutchman secured his seventh win of the season going ahead of Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell who finished second and third respectively.
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The reigning champion after playing second fiddle until lap 18 when race leader, Charles Leclerc had a crash that made the French man unable to continue the race, remained on the ascendency to win at the Le Castellet.
Hamilton who had maintained his position after the Ferrari car crash finished second; his best finish since the beginning of the season.
His teammate, George Russell had to fend off challenge from RedBull driver, Sergio Perez after overtaking him to clinch P3 and get his fourth podium finish of the season.
Sergio Perez was fourth ahead of the driver of the day, Carlos Sainz who put up a great performance to start in P19 and finish fifth.
Alphine’s Alonso who couldn’t hold on to fifth finished sixth ahead of McLaren driver Lando Norris as Ocon, Riccardo and Stroll occupied eighth, nineth and tenth.
How It Happened
Charles Leclerc led the race in front of his home fans as Max Verstappen gave the Monegasque a hot chase.
However, each time the Dutchman looked closer to the Leclerc, the more the Ferrari man stepped up his pedal.
Until the unfortunate crash that ruled out Leclerc.
Take nothing away from the race winner who hardly did any wrong, he was on the front foot and no driver came close going forward.
After the battle between Leclerc and Verstappen, another battle was Russell and Perez struggle for a podium finish.
The Mercedes driver kept thralling the RedBull with the two drivers making contact at some point in the race.
At the 50th lap, the Brit finally went pass the Mexican after a continuous push and maintained the lead till the end of the race.
Charles Leclerc was left devastated after his DNF as a result of the crash which destroyed his chances of winning the race he led up until the incident.
The Frenchman has had series of challenging times this season after starting on a high, leading the driver’s standings at the first three races of the season.
Read Also: Can Mercedes Get Back Into The Mix At Their Favourable Barcelona Circuit?
Fortunately, the Ferrari driver was unhurt, but he had screamed out in frustration over the radio. And after the race he admitted it was his own error that had cost him.
“I think it’s just a mistake. Tried to take too much around the outside, put a wheel probably somewhere dirty, but it’s my fault and if I keep doing mistakes like this then I deserve not to win the championship,” he said.
“I’m losing too many points, I think seven in Imola, 25 here because honestly we were the strongest car on track today,” he added to Sky Sports F1. “So yes, if we lose the championship by 32 points at the end of the season, I will know from where they are coming from. And it’s unacceptable, I just need to get on top of those things.”
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