Verstappen wins the French GP and soars in the standings

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Verstappen wins the French GP and soars in the standings

Max Verstappen is more than ever a favorite for his succession. Winner of the French Grand Prix this Sunday at Le Castellet ahead of Lewis Hamilton, the Dutchman now has 7 victories in 2022 and above all 63 points ahead of Charles Leclerc at the driver ranking. Unhappy, or clumsy, the Monegasque hit a wall of tires, losing control of his single-seater in the 11th corner of the 18th lap. Forced to retire, he let his rival soar to a second consecutive title.

Before that, Leclerc had resisted the aggressiveness of Verstappen well. Unable to find the fault, the Dutchman attempted theundercut, putting on hard tires on the 16th lap. Immediately on the pace, he benefited 2 laps later from this terrible episode for the Scuderia: a Leclerc in the tires and a safety car causing a massive entry into the pits, suddenly propelling him into the lead. After rolling to the checkered flag, he won ahead of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, for Mercedes’ first double on the podium this season.

Sainz, race leader

The glass even seemed completely empty for the Scuderia for a few moments, when Carlos Sainz, who entered the pits in traffic after Leclerc’s accident, came out dangerously in front of a Williams forced to crash on the pit lane, thus receiving a penalty of 5 seconds. Starting 19th in hard rubber on the grid, a rare driver in medium after the safety car, he then undertook a crazy comeback. In particular, he managed a superb overtaking on Russell on the 30th lap by taking the outside of Signes. He is then 4th.

Long stuck behind Perez, Sainz tapped into his gums to snatch the podium. Blocked by the sometimes rough defense of the Mexican, he finally finds the fault in the last corner of the 41st lap, before returning to the pits a second time on the 43rd, fearing that his tires will not hold until the end. Downgraded to 9th position, he easily overtook Ocon, Ricciardo, Norris and Alonso to finish 5th. An eventful race that earned him the title of “Driver of the Day”.

Ocon and Alpine in good rhythm

In the fight in the middle of the table, Alpine managed the good operation of this tricolor weekend. Starting 7th, Alonso gained 2 places at the start, then held his place ahead of the McLarens, opponents for 4th place in the constructors’ standings. Ocon, 10th at the start, took too many risks on the first lap, hitting Tsunoda in the 8th corner. A maneuver which earned him a 5-second penalty but which did not prevent him from finishing in the points, after having fought for a long time behind Ricciardo, who was finally overtaken at the entrance to Signes on the 45th lap.

Alonso and Ocon finished 6th and 8th, Norris and Ricciardo 7th and 9th. Alpine therefore takes a 4-point lead over McLaren. Far behind, Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) was never able to fight for the points. Starting 14th, he finished two rows ahead, once again frustrated by the performance of his single-seater. His teammate Tsunoda quickly retired after colliding with Ocon on the first lap.

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