The 2019 French GP the past weekend was another great event. We once again saw why Mercedes is the best team of the year so far and also see some more excellent results from Ferrari as they figure out what’s holding them back.
The French GP track (Circuit Paul Ricard) is rather challenging once for the drivers as it’s so easy to go off and get penalties. We saw it happen multiple times with some of the drivers, but in the top 5 finishes, some impressive racing was delivered throughout the race.
French GP Highlights
Right from the start, the Mercedes team grabbed both first and second place from their pole position starting points. By the first turn, Hamilton was leading, Bottas behind him and Charles Leclerc in third place. In fourth Max Verstappen lead both the McLaren drivers followed by a surprising Vettel in seventh place.
Within the first few corners, we saw the first car leave the track. It was the bright pink car of Sergio Perez, which resulted in a 5-second penalty. On the 7th lap, we saw Sebastian Vettel make good use of the new DRS feature as he gained a place to sixth by overtaking one of the McLaren drivers. In the same lap, we still see Hamilton in the lead, Bottas following with an interval of 2.189 and Leclerc with a 2.876-second difference.
By lap 19, we saw Vettel in 5th place, making way towards Max Verstappen. Hamilton managed to draw an even longer lead above the rest, setting a total interval of 5 seconds between him and his teammate Bottas.
Even after heading into the pits on lap 24, Hamilton managed to stay in the first place. By lap 47, he held a total lead of over 12 seconds above Bottas who was just under 7 seconds ahead of Leclerc. Verstappen followed by a difference of 8 seconds, and Vettel managed to hold on to a 5th place with a difference of 6.3 seconds. Behind him was both the McLaren drivers with a massive gap of over 51 seconds.
At lap 53, the race came to an end with Hamilton in the first place to claim a total of 25 points for the Mercedes team. At the last turn, we saw Leclerc try to make a move on Bottas but had too much distance between them to make it worth the try. Therefore, Bottas claimed second place for the Mercedes team as well, adding yet another 18 points to the total. Leclerc in the Ferrari finished in a surprising third place, claiming his first podium finish for the 2019 season and adding 15 points for the Ferrari team. V