Hamilton wins French GP in Mercedes one-two

Friday, 28 Jun, 2019

Valtteri Bottas can still challenge runaway leader Lewis Hamilton for the Formula One title but he needs to adapt his driving style to do it, according to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

Despite practice and qualifying suggesting a close battle between the Mercedes teammates could have been in the offing for the race, the Briton was peerless from lights out, acing his getaway and immediately building a buffer to the second-placed Bottas to escape DRS range.

Lewis Hamilton secured pole position while teammate Valtteri Bottas was 2nd, ahead of the other Ferrari of Charles LeClerc.

Hamilton's win sees him extend his lead in the drivers' championship to 162 points, with Bottas second on 133, and Vettel third with 100 points.

There are still 13 races remaining in the calendar, plenty of time for things to drastically change in the Drivers' Standings.

Yet despite his imperious dominance, Hamilton has sympathy for F1 fans who want more exciting racing, and long for the overtaking duels of old which gave races an unpredictable edge.

Speaking to journalists after the race, Hamilton said: "When you write the story and you say "it's boring". if you do, I totally understand it, I remember growing up watching it". "Don't blame the drivers".

"I hope they will continue to have us there - a couple of us drivers each time".

"You should put the pressure on the people who are at the head, who should be doing the job".

'They have made bad decisions for many, many years.

The combination of Hamilton and his Mercedes machine is proving unstoppable.

Those rules have yet to be defined by governing body FIA, amid the diverging interests of teams.

"We got through our programme no problem, but if you're used to a normal four-day programme and you change it, it's not always the easiest".

Austria GP this weekend, tune in.

Ferrari saw their attempts to have the incident reviewed turned down by the FIA confirming Hamilton's Montreal victory. It felt ok, but Mercedes were just too quick today.

"This is a constant cycle of Formula 1 for years and years and years, even before I got to Formula 1, and it's because the way Bernie (Ecclestone) had it set up and the decisions they were making back then; it's still the same".

Leclerc provided late excitement, at least, when he nearly caught Bottas on the last lap.

Leclerc had a lonely race behind the Mercedes in third, unable to keep pace with Hamilton and Bottas for much of the afternoon, but comfortably able to fend off Verstappen behind. But Bottas did just enough to hold off Leclerc on the final lap.

He said he welcomed the fact that the sport's ruling bodies were open to hearing the views of the drivers. "It's between super close between us all weekend and it's about fine details".

Max Verstappen, starting in third, dropped down to fifth as the in-form Sebastian Vettel moved up into second, with Leclerc in fourth after he pitted ahead of his team-mate.

"We are creating history together and I'm so proud to be part of this team", said Hamilton, who also won from pole a year ago at Le Castellet in a race where traffic gridlock on the roads outside proved more of a talking point.