Formula One: Lewis Hamilton cruises to victory in France | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 23.06.2019
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Formula One: Lewis Hamilton cruises to victory in France

Lewis Hamilton won from pole to flag in France to extend his lead in the F1 driver's championship. It was an uneventful race that saw Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas complete a Mercedes one-two.

Lewis Hamilton continued his relentless run of success when he recorded an emphatic victory ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas at the French Grand Prix on Sunday.

The defending five-time champion repeated his pole-to-flag triumph of 2018 with a flawless drive to his fourth win in succession, sixth this season and 79th of his career.

His victory extended Mercedes' unbeaten start to the 2019 season to eight races and their overall winning streak to 10, leaving their rivals in their wake.

With the mercury rising to around 50C, Hamilton extended his title race lead over Bottas to 36 points - with Charles Leclerc finishing a strong third following a determined drive in his Ferrari.

Max Verstappen was fourth for Red Bull ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel in the second Ferrari and the resurgent McLaren of Carlos Sainz.

Vettel, who started seventh after a troubled qualifying, took a late pit stop for fresh tyres and snatched fastest lap and a track record by 0.024 seconds from Hamilton in the final seconds.

Daniel Ricciardo was seventh for Renault ahead of Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo and Nico Hulkenberg in the second Renault with Lando Norris finishing 10th despite hydraulics problems in the second McLaren.

"It's definitely been a really good weekend," said Hamilton. "It's such a challenge out there and I love that, really trying to find the edge.

"I couldn't do it without this incredible team and we are creating history - and I am so proud to be part of it."

mds/mf (afp/reuters)

As it happened:


Lap 52/53 Hamilton taking a 16 second lead into the final lap.

Lap 49/53 Ricciardo, in eighth, has just been lapped by Hamilton.

Lap 46/53 The only battle of interest in this race is down in 15th, where Toro Rosso teammates Kyvat and Albon are going for it.

Lap 43/53 Hamilton absolutely cruising here. In fact, the top four are exactly the same as we started.

Lap 41/53 Leclerc sets a fastest lap for the first time this afternoon, but almost immediately Hamilton snatches it back.

Lap 39/53 Bottas is told by his team that he has blistering on his tyres, but that he has nothing to worry about.

Lap 36/53 The stewards conclude that no infringement occured between Grosjean and Ricciardo.

Lap 35/53 Here's how things stand at the moment...

Lap 33/53 Hamilton sets another fastest lap and Ricciardo moves up to 10th.

Lap 31/53 The stewards are having a look at that Grosjean and Ricciardo's clash.

Lap 29/53 Bottas responds to pressure from Leclerc with the fastest lap.

Lap 26/53 Vettel finally comes in to pit and having failed to climb any places. He's now in fifth, behind Verstappen.

Lap 24/53 Bottas pits, conceding a place to Vettel, but stays ahead of Leclerc.

Lap 21/53 Mercedes tells Bottas it thinks the Ferraris are starting to struggle with their front tyres.

Lap 19/53 Vettel is now chipping away at Verstappen's advantage and is 5.2 seconds behind the Red Bull.

Lap 16/53 Vettel shows a decent turn of pace on lap 12, setting the new fastest lap.

Lap 14/53 Bottas sets the fastest lap now.

Lap 13/53 Perez, in 12th, gets a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.

Lap 12/53 Ferrari tells Leclerc it is going to "Plan A" and that he needs to maintain the two-second gap back to Verstappen. Plan A presumably is to attack the two Mercedes ahead of him. 

Lap 10/53 Hamilton sets yet another new fastest lap.

Lap 8/53 Vettel passes Norris to climb to sixth, with a little help from DRS.

Lap 6/53 "I'm not pulling out of the corners, there is a lag," says Verstappen.

Lap 4/53 A fastest lap for Hamilton, who is flying. Already 1.6 seconds clear.

Lap 3/53 No change for Vettel either, who stays seventh.

Lap 2/53 Not a great start for Ricciardo, who drops a couple of places to tenth.

Lap 1/53 GO GO GO! The French Grand Prix is underway and Leclerc survives an attack from Verstappen. But it's as you were at the front, with Hamilton untroubled after a good getaway.

15:09 Practice lap is complete and we're about ready to go...

15:05 The track is clearing and we're about to get going on the practice lap. Not long til lights out.

15:00 Today's race is being used as an opportunity to celebrate the 80th birthday of an F1 legend, Sir Jackie Stewart...

14:55 Hello and welcome to live coverage of the French Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton is odds on favorite to win again in France, but the conditions will be testing out there. The track temperature is currently hovering around the 50C level... 

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