Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas lead Mercedes to 10 wins in a row
Lewis Hamilton put on a display of domination at the French Grand Prix yesterday to go 36 points clear in the Formula One world championship and stretch Mercedes' winning run to 10 races.
On a hot afternoon in the south of France, Hamilton put the rest of the field in the shade as he led from start to finish to take his fourth win in a row and sixth of the season. Mercedes have won all eight races this year as well as the last two of 2018.
Hamilton finished 18 seconds ahead of Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas, who was pushed hard at the end by Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, as Mercedes celebrated their 50th one-two finish. He has 187 points to Bottas' 151.
"We are creating history together and I'm so proud to be part of this team," said Hamilton, who also won from pole last year at Le Castellet.
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 1:24:31.198
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): +18.056s
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): +18.985s
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull): +34.905s
5. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari): +62.796s
DRIVERS' STANDINGS (Top 3)
1. Hamilton: 187 points
2. Bottas: 151
3. Vettel: 111
CONSTRUCTORS' STANDINGS (Top 3)
1. Mercedes: 338 points
2. Ferrari: 198
3. Red Bull: 136
"It wasn't easy at all and everything is on the edge. I had quite big blisters on the front two tyres - but this has been the best start of the year."
The five-time world champion now has 79 career wins, 12 short of Michael Schumacher's all-time record with 13 races remaining this season.
Hamilton made a clean start, was 2.3 seconds clear of Bottas after six laps and continued to pull away despite complaining at one point that something had broken on his seat - a gripe undermined by the Briton lapping faster and faster.
Max Verstappen was fourth for Red Bull, while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel moved up from seventh on the grid to fifth and gained an extra point after pitting on the penultimate lap for fresh tyres to set the fastest lap.
"This weekend, the biggest aim was to close the gap as much as possible and we failed," said Vettel, now 76 points behind Hamilton - the equivalent to more than three race wins.
"We have to understand why... we will try again. The track layout in Austria next week will go our way." - REUTERS