m3n4.net September 24, 2018

F1: Lewis Hamilton wins in France, retakes driver's championship lead

25 June 2018, 01:23 | Tracey Rhodes

GETTYLewis Hamilton trails Sebastian Vettel by one point in the championship

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton dominated the race, qualifying and Friday's practice sessions boosted by an engine upgrade that Mercedes had expected to roll out in Canada, when Hamilton finished fifth and lost his lead to race victor Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton has returned to the top of the Formula 1 world championship table thanks to victory at the French Grand Prix on Sunday.

"It feels great to be back in France".

"This place is handsome", he said.

"Great work guys! I'm so happy for England as well", he said over the team radio, referring to the nation's 6-1 World Cup group win over Panama.

Bottas set his lap of one minute 33.666 seconds before the rain had started.

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Hamilton won from pole after a race that had been in his hands from the moment he avoided contact on the first lap at turn one that cost his team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who was seventh, and Vettel.

And Hamilton was happy with the double win.

After banging wheels with Hamilton in Azerbaijan past year, crashing out at Singapore, tangling with Hamilton and Verstappen at the start in Mexico, and running off the road in Baku in April, Vettel was left to rue another costly error. "I enjoyed the race, for me the best French Grand Prix I have ever had".

The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were in second and fourth respectively with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen securing the final podium place.

"It's insane. I'm not putting more weight on because, with this new plant-based diet, I can have more carbs which is contradictory of what you'd normally have thought diet-wise, but I'm not going to complain, I love pancakes so it's great".

"I only got a few laps in, then we had a water leak which we're now investigating". Hamilton followed and, after the first flying runs, he and Bottas topped the times before the session was red-flagged when Grosjean crashed at Turn Three.

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Carlos Sainz, Nico Huelkenberg (both Renault) and Charles Leclerc (Sauber) completed the points.

"But I didn't change a thing, and now everything is going right".

Lance Stroll suffered a tyre failure with just three laps to go, entering the flat-out Signes corner causing a Virtual Safety Car in the closing stages.

After their worst qualifying performance for more than a year, McLaren had a woeful race, Stoffel Vandoorne finishing 12th.

Vettel was sanguine about his performance and potential in qualifying. The former two-time champion failed to finish his third consecutive F1 race when his McLaren had a problem with its back left tire and he was forced to retire late.

The race nearly finished under a virtual safety auto, caused by Lance Stroll losing a tyre from his Williams, but the precaution was lifted with half a lap to go.

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Brendon Hartley will start behind them for Toro Rosso due to penalties arising from a breach of the engine regulations, with the New Zealander using his fourth of the season.

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