El Grand Prix of France, seventh date of the World Cup F1, was a new demonstration of the battle they have waged Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull) for the crown of the highest category. The duel on the circuit Paul ricard it remained for the Dutchman, who established himself at the head of the contest.
The race provided emotions from the beginning. Verstappen, who started from pole, passed the first corner and left the lead to Hamilton, who had started from second place.
During the first part of the test, the Sevenfold held their rival at bay until the pit stops began. Finnish Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Verstappen were the first to change tires.
Hamilton was the last of the trio going into the twentieth lap. The differences between the leaders were so small that it was enough for Verstappen to beat the Englishman by a slim advantage.
It didn't take long for the Mercedes # 44 driver to start setting good times and that allowed him to get closer to the tournament leader. Everything indicated that the fight would continue without changes, but on lap 32 Verstappen went through the pits to change the tires again. That pit stop, finally, was the key to success ...
Hamilton seized on that "gift" and captured the cutting edge once again. Although in this case Bottas was placed in the middle of his rival, something that allowed him to achieve a little respite to take care of his tires a little more.
With nine laps remaining, Verstappen edged out Bottas (who later complained to the team that they didn't choose the two-stop strategy and not one) and went in search of Hamilton, who at the time had a five-second lead.
As the logic indicated, Verstappen managed to iron out the gap over Hamilton and outwitted him brilliantly with one lap remaining. This allowed the Dutchman to win for the third time in the year and assert himself at the head of the competition by taking 18 points from the reigning champion, who was chewing anger.
Red Bull's joy was almost complete as the Mexican finished third Sergio Pérez, adding good points that allow the Austrian team to continue at the head of the Builders Cup.
MAX VERSTAPPEN (1 °): “At the beginning it was super difficult with the wind… I called to do the second tire change and luckily it was worth it, but we had to work hard. Throughout the race we were fighting each other (with Hamilton), so I think it will be like that for the rest of the season.
LEWIS HAMILTON (2nd): “Considering where we were on Friday, I have to be happy with the result today. I had no tires at the end. We have to dig deep, try to figure out why we are losing in a straight line. It was really surprising to run out of tires… ”.
SERGIO PÉREZ (3rd): “Towards the end I got the temperature back on the rear wheels and it really paid off. We had a great race, great for the team ”.
GRAND PRIZE RESULTS OF FRANCE 2021
|POS.||PILOT||CAR||VTAS.||TIME / DIF.||PTS|
|1||33||RED BULL RACING HONDA||53||1:27:25.770||26|
|3||11||RED BULL RACING HONDA||53||+8.811s||15|
|9||5||ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES||53||+79.666s||2|
|10||18||ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES||53||+91.946s||1|
|12||63||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||52||+1 lap||0|
|13||22||ALPHATAURI HONDA||52||+1 lap||0|
|14||31||ALPINE RENAULT||52||+1 lap||0|
|15||99||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||52||+1 lap||0|
|17||7||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||52||+1 lap||0|
|18||6||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||52||+1 lap||0|
|19||47||HAAS FERRARI||52||+1 lap||0|
|20||9||HAAS FERRARI||52||+1 lap||0|
AVERAGE: 212,530 km / h. LAP RECORD: M. Verstappen (Red Bull), in 35th, in 1m36s404 at 218,156 km / h.
DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP: 1) Verstappen, 131 points; 2) Hamilton, 119; 3) Pérez, 84; 4) Norris, 76; 5) Bottas, 59; 6) Leclerc, 52; 7) Sainz, 42; 8) Gasly, 37; 9) Ricciardo, 34; 10) Vettel, 30; 11) Alonso, 17; 12) Ocon, 12; 13) Stroll, 10; 14) Tsunoda, 8; 15) Räikkönen and Giovinazzi, 1.
BUILDERS CUP: 1) Red Bull Racing Honda, 215 points; 2) Mercedes, 178; 3) Mclaren Mercedes, 110; 4) Ferrari, 94; 5) AlphaTauri Honda, 45; 6) Aston Martin Mercedes, 40; 7) Alpine Renault, 29; 8) Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, 2.
NEXT DATE: 27/6, Styrian GP.