French Grand Prix: Max Verstappen edges out Lewis Hamilton to claim another win

max verstappen

A fine closing stint in the French Grand Prix sealed victory for Red Bull driver Max Verstappen as he overtook championship rival Lewis Hamilton on the penultimate lap to extend his lead in the Drivers' standings.

The two main protagonists for the title began the race alongside each other, with Verstappen sliding off after turn one and giving up the lead to Hamilton, with Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez tucking in behind.

Indeed, the two Mercedes and Red Bull cars would soon scamper off into the distance with the front three of Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas managing to leave Perez behind by a handful of seconds.

The close nature of the leading pack, though, meant that this race was going to be decided around tyre strategy and pit-stops, with it soon clear that a two-stop strategy would be the one to prevail over a one-stop at the head of the field.

The first set of stops also underlined the huge impact of the undercut, with Verstappen able to jump in front of Hamilton to retake the lead, once Sergio Perez had pitted for his one and only stop as he went long.

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Indeed, the Mexican was the only one who could make the one-stop strategy really work of the top four, with Verstappen opting to come in again with just over 20 laps left to go, stopping for fresher tyres and then going on the hunt to close down the two Mercs who remained out.

Bottas was overtaken easily by the Dutchman first, with Perez soon coming past too, whilst Verstappen would then set about retaking the lead in the final laps.

He closed down a five second gap in the final five laps to take victory from his British title rival, with Hamilton and Perez completing the podium.

Elsewhere, an impressive performance from Lando Norris saw him rise to fifth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who also looked strong in sixth.

Pierre Gasly finished seventh, Fernando Alonso was eighth whilst Aston Martin pair Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll made a one-stop strategy work nicely to round out the top ten.

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