Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took the top step on the podium in Formula 1's first French Grand Prix in 10 years, reclaiming his position at the apex of the 2018 Drivers Championship after title rival Sebastian Vettel had contact with Valtteri Bottas at the first corner. Hamilton finished comfortably clear off Red Bull's Max Verstappen, giving him a comfortable 14-point lead over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who finished in 5th place missing out on a crucial podium. Vettel was trailed by the second silver arrow of Bottas whom he had spun around on turn 1 in what turned out to be a chaotic first lap. Off the line, it was the Ferrari who managed to get off the line fastest, drawing up on the Silver Arrow as the grid lined up for turn 1. Vettel chose instead, to back out on the inside of Bottas only to lock his front-left with the silver arrow spinning into a tizzy. The incident cost the Ferrari driver his front wing and gave Bottas a left-rear puncture, both limped back to the pits to change to soft tyres presumably to make up for lost time. Vettel even briefly tried to carry on racing into Turns 3 and 4 and lightly touched Romain Grosjean's Haas, before backing off the gas.
That was not all for the corner one disasters at the Paul Ricard Formula One circuit with Pierre Gasly losing the rear of his Toro Rosso and sliding into the back of Esteban Ocon's Force India. This little incident ended with both drivers leaving mid-race on home turf. The safety car then came out which saw Hamilton in the lead ahead of Max Verstappen, The pair were at the time being tailed by Renault’s Carlos Sainz, who previously swept around the outside of Daniel Ricciardo at Corner 2 as Red Bull ran wide on corner 1. In the true spirit that made Hamilton champion, he then started to work out his lead, consistently lap after lap. In the meanwhile, Ricciardo who had been gaining on Carlos Sainz quickly snatched back the last step on the podium. Leaving Carlos Sainz to the Mercy of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari. An opportunity that Raikkonen who had fought hard after an excursion on the grass in the corner 1 incident to be in fifth place when the safety car came out.
Kimi seemed to have it all working exactly the way he wanted, as he stayed hot on the tail of the Red Bull with just seven laps to go, ultimately making a move stick using the draft down the back straight for additional drive into the chicane at corner 8. Snatching the last spot on the podium. Kevin Magnussen finished in sixth place in the remaining Haas. Meanwhile, Sainz’ bad luck continued as the Renault reportedly lost power dropping all the way to eighth place ahead of Nico Hulkenberg at Renault's home GP. Charles Leclerc completed the point scorers for Sauber having also been one of the cars involved in the corner 1 massacre.
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