F1 French Grand Prix Review - What an étonnante race
An unexpected race of the season? Here's what went down in the French Grand Prix
What an unexpected surpirse.
Circuit Paul Ricard fianlly delivered a great race with both an epic battle for the win and the championship.
Coming into the weekend people, like myself, thought it would be another borfest but it delivered and allowed Max Verstappen to take his third win of the season - Red Bulls third win in succession since 2013.
Lewis Hamilton couldn't believe his luck when Verstappen lost the lead on the first corner on the first lap. But with a misjudged late pitstop lost the lead and eventually got outpaced by Verstappen on a two-stop with two laps to go.
The race at the front was much like the Spanish Grand Prix with the drivers playing chicken to see who commits to the two stopper first. Since the tire degradation was worse than the teams expected.
The driver that made it work was Verstappen and it worked a treat.
VERSTAPPEN'S FIRST EVER F1 HATRICK - POLE - WIN - FASTEST LAP
Perez, who finished third, also had a great race with the tire whisperer going long in the first stint to make him faster in the last stint, which allowed him to overtake a struggling Bottas towards the end.
Who himself was not happy.
"Why the f**k does no one listen to me
when I say it's going to be a two stopper" - Valtteri Bottas
This is what Bottas said on the radio complaining about the strategy he was put on. In fairness Mercedes they were hoping for a 5-second penalty for Perez, however, they gambled but ultimately lost.
Not a great start to Mercedes' triple-header.
However, Mclaren were truly on the ball from lights out. With Daniel Riccardo back to his late braking ways and did some great overtaking with both McLarens scoring great points, finishing P5 (Norris) and P6 (Riccardo).
It was also a great race for Alonso who showed a glimpse of his old self with a great drive to finish P8, despite tire issues at the start.
There's always a theatre around the Ferrari team, with two pole positions in the last two races, however, it was a race to forget.
“Freaking hell. This was incredibly difficult."
- Charles Leclerc
With decent pace on Friday and in qualifying but massive tire issues saw the Scuderia slip back to a lowly P11 (Sainz) and P16 (Leclerc).
I'll be hoping for another thriller when Formula One returns in Austria in only three days time!