The French GP was back on the F1 calendar after ten years. The Mercedes AMG F1 team was back in form after a disappointing Canadian GP. Lewis Hamilton won the race and is back on top of the drivers’ championship. Hamilton has a 14-point lead over Sebastian Vettel now.
Valtteri Bottas finished seventh after a first lap incident with Vettel. The Finn was tagged by Vettel at Turn 1 and suffered a rear tire puncture. Bottas pitted under the Safety Car and rejoined at the back of the field. Mercedes started 1-2 from the grid and potentially could have finished in that order. But it was not to be.
Mercedes AMG F1 Debrief of the French GP
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director of Mercedes, debriefs the French GP.
Mercedes Is Back In Form
After a rather poor Canadian GP, Mercedes is back in form. The Silver Arrows extended their lead over Ferrari to 23 points in the constructors’ championship. Hamilton, who was off-colour in Canada, was back in form in France. The Briton took pole position and drove a clean race to secure the win.
His title-rival Vettel had a first lap incident for which he incurred a 5-second penalty. The German had to fight his way back up the field to take fifth place. The two contenders, Hamilton and Vettel, have three wins each in the 2018 season.
Hamilton said: “Every race is a team effort. When you’re constructive and you criticise yourself and you take a step back and approach it with new methods and new determination and you get a result – it’s definitely a great feeling.
“I feel very grateful for a solid weekend. My guys, I’ve been with them for six years and they are just continuously pushing the boundaries and never giving up, so I’m just forever grateful for all their work, here at the track and back at the factory.
“I was very comfortable with the balance this afternoon. Max had decent pace, but I could maintain the gap at around five seconds. Everyone will be really happy but there is a long way to go. We have to keep approaching it in the way we have.”
James Allison, Mercedes Technical Director, said:“The car performance was good all weekend and we can travel to Austria with the optimism that we can keep up the good work in the next races.”
It is a triple header on the F1 calendar starting with the French GP, then the Austrian GP and British GP back to back. We head to Austria to the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian GP this weekend (29 June – 01 July 2018).