French GP "sums up my season" - Valtteri Bottas

French GP

French GP "sums up my season" - Valtteri Bottas

Sebastian Vettel, who had executed a strong start from P2 only to be boxed in by Hamilton ahead and Valtteri Bottas to the right, locked up into the first turn and nudged the Finn off the track, damaging his front wing and giving the Mercedes auto a rear-left puncture.

Hamilton was not convinced the upgraded engine played a crucial role in Mercedes locking out the front row in France, or his third win of the year that put him back on top in the championship.

The 31 points that Mercedes scored at the Paul Ricard Circuit moves their season total thus far to 237 points and extends their constructors' championship lead over Scuderia Ferrari to 23 points.

Through the carnage scythed Max Verstappen, who cut across the run-off area to seize second place from his crashed-out rivals.

After pitting for repairs, both would make their through the field, with Vettel eventually finishing fifth while Bottas was only seventh.

Just after the run-in between Vettel and Bottas, there was further trouble when Pierre Gasly ran his Toro Rosso into the back of Esteban Ocon's Force India, knocking them both out of the race and bringing out the safety vehicle. The new-spec unit, which was initially scheduled to appear in Canada but delayed because of a "quality" problem, encountered a problem on Friday when Valtteri Bottas suffered a water leak. An incensed Verstappen made his feelings clear after the race. I think it's a 1.5 second delta: Max has to be 1.5s faster than me to overtake me today or more.

Verstappen was next in second place, but the Dutchman, having cruised in place since the first-lap carnage, was some 20 seconds up the road and unreachable.

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"I thought I was going to get rear-ended", he said. There are a lot of tracks we go to and the grandstands are not even half full, there's massive long banks that are just empty.

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"That's what they said to me in the beginning of the season so I think they should do the same".

"I was very comfortable with the balance this afternoon".

"Ultimately, Seb should not have not been able to finish ahead of Valtteri because he took him out of the race". But it makes me angry because they won't be as bad on him as they were on me. Championship rival Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) finished fifth.

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