At Le Castellet, where the track temperature was high, tyre management was essential. After Max Verstappen pitted on Lap 17, it was up to Leclerc to step up. His race was finished in a harsh snap of oversteer at Turn 11, which also caused him to shout in rage and brought out the Safety Car. Hamilton and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez pitted and started chasing Verstappen after the restart. Verstappen continued to run and took up the lead.
Max Verstappen, who is now leading the championship, had a comfortable lead when the race restarted on lap 22. By lap 30 of 53, he had opened a four-second deficit over Hamilton and had gone on to win by more than ten seconds. At the start of the race, Perez dropped to P3 behind Hamilton and was unable to keep up with him.
Despite this, he appeared to be the favourite to place third, but due to a late Virtual Safety Car that was brought on by Zhou Guanyu’s on-track accident in the Alfa Romeo, he lost the final podium spot to Mercedes just as the VSC was coming to an end on Lap 50. Perez and Russell had previously collided at Turn 8 in a contentious race for the top spot. There were no penalties assessed, and the duo were separated by the flag by just 0.8 seconds.
Today’s Driver With engine penalties, Carlos Sainz began out in position 19 but by lap 14 had moved up into the top ten with his Ferrari running on hard tyres. During the Safety Car, he made a pit stop for mediums, however due to an unsafe release, he received a stop-go penalty and had to make another pit stop for mediums on Lap 43. At the finish line, he overtook the Alpines and McLarens to place fifth.
Fernando Alonso of Alpine overtook Lando Norris early on and maintained sixth position for the most of the race, holding back both McLarens so that Esteban Ocon of Alpine could steal P7 away from Daniel Ricciardo following the Safety Car restart.
Lance Stroll completed the top 10 after defeating Sebastian Vettel, who finished in 11th place, in a fight that began early and threatened to explode on the penultimate lap for the lone point.