Max Verstappen climbs out of the car after winning. (Red Bull Racing Photo)

Verstappen Extends Points Lead As Leclerc Crashes Out

Max Verstappen extended his lead in the championship standings, after scoring the victory in the French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Richard. 

The Red Bull Racing driver took command of the race lead on lap 18, after points rival Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari snapped loose in turn 11, sending his car into the barrier. 

“I mean I think we had really good pace from the start,” Verstappen said. “I was putting pressure on Charles (Leclerc) but following around here with this heat, the tires are overheating, I could never really go for a move, only once into turn 11.

“But we just tried to stay calm, try to stay close,” Verstappen continued. “Of course, we pitted a bit early and from then onwards you never know how the race is going to go. But the car was quick today, and of course unlucky for Charles – I hope he is okay.

“From there onwards I just did my race, looked after the tires, and because of the pit lane of course being so long, you couldn’t do another stop, so you had to stay out, but the tires were wearing a lot. It was all about looking after the tires until the end.”

Leclerc would climb out of the car without any assistance. 

Behind Verstappen, was the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, rounding out the podium.

With his 2nd place result, it would be Hamilton’s 4th consecutive podium result, after only earning one previously in the season opener at Bahrain. 

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz would drive a masterful race to finish 5th, after climbing 14 positions from his original starting spot. 

The Haas F1 Team would not earn any points, with Mick Schumacher finishing 15th, and Kevin Magnussen retiring in 18th due to an accident. 

The series now shifts their focus to Hungary, for the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend.