Lewis Hamilton relieved but puzzled with pole

Jo Caldwell
June 25, 2018

Vettel's fifth place means that he loses the lead of the championship that he regained at the last race in Canada, and now trails Hamilton by 14 points as the teams head to Austria.

Mercedes took control and Hamilton clocked the best time in Q1, which ended, as rain began to fall, with both McLarens and both Williams eliminated -- a sad contrast to the pomp of the once-great British teams, when the French race was last held at the Paul Ricard Circuit 28 years ago.

After completing his comfortable win at Paul Ricard, Hamilton opened up his radio channel to say: "Great job guys".

"It's a lovely Sunday, everyone". The Briton has 145 and German 131.

Daniel Ricciardo was second for Red Bull, three-quarters of a second behind the Mercedes, with team-mate Max Verstappen third. Vettel rose to fourth behind Hamilton and the two Red Bulls.

Lewis Hamilton reclaimed the world championship lead with a dominant victory in the French Grand Prix. He also extended his record of wins at different circuits to 26.

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There was drama at the start as Hamilton and Bottas lined up on the front row with Vettel just behind in third.

Stewards announced an immediate investigation into the collision between Bottas and Vettel, with video replays showing the German had locked up and hit the rear of the Finn's auto as they jostled for position.

"I think it was to do with quite a strong headwind we had from the east end of the track going to the west end down the long straight".

"It's exciting when you've gone the whole year not having [pancakes], but now I'm having them every weekend and they still taste awesome", he said of his favorite now-vegan breakfast meal.

"We were relatively fast today, in the long runs we looked a bit up and down so definitely a bit of work to do tonight, but not a bad Friday", commented the Australian.

But Hamilton then added: "Those things happen". Vettel was investigated for causing a collision and given a five-second time penalty by the stewards. "He destroyed the whole race for himself and for Bottas", Lauda told Sky Sports.

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"It was my mistake".

The pit stop dropped Bottas to last place and the resulting damage to the floor of his vehicle hindered his progression back through the field.

There was drama further back, too, when two of the three Frenchmen competing here crashed out on the first lap as Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly smashed into the Force India of Esteban Ocon.

Vettel limped back to the pits to get a new nose piece while Bottas got a new tire for the one that was shredded by the nudge from the four-time former champion.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel had to settle for third place on the grid after a scruffy lap in Q3 ensured he could not make up any ground on the Mercedes cars ahead.

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