Sebastian Vettel claims collision was hard to avoid

Sebastian Vettel claims collision was hard to avoid

Sebastian Vettel claims collision was hard to avoid

A dominant Lewis Hamilton took advantage of Sebastian Vettel's opening-lap crash with Valtteri Bottas to move back to the summit of the world championship.

"Great work guys, great work everyone", said Hamilton, who had watched England defeat Panama 6-1 in the World Cup before the race.

"That's what they said to me at the beginning of the season, so I think they should do the same!"

The last time Le Castellet held an F1 race was in 1990 when French great Alain Prost won for Ferrari.

PARIS, France, Jun 24- Lewis Hamilton expressed his relief and puzzlement after claiming pole position for Sunday's French GP.

After both the cars pitted at the end of the opening lap while the safety auto had neutralised the race after other accidents, Vettel was given a five-second time penalty from the stewards for causing the accident.

They were instead consigned to hours of queueing in very hot conditions before, in many cases, giving up and turning back.

"I tried to push everything in the last attempt, but looking back, I pushed too hard", Vettel said. "It is my mistake", Vettel said of the collision.

He'd have been even more pleased by a subsequent five-second penalty for the German to punish him for the incident. "He destroyed the whole race for himself and for Bottas".

But after Vettel recovered to finish fifth - two places ahead of Bottas - Lauda was far from impressed.

Others eliminated in the second round included Renault's Nico Hulkenberg, Force India's Sergio Perez, Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly, and Marcus Ericsson in the No. 9 Sauber.

Vettel was 11th by lap 10, eighth by lap 15, and fifth by lap 20, at the back of the lead group. The Finn has shown this season that he has pace and, at times, is the better of the Mercedes drivers, while Red Bull are benefiting from Renault's added oomph.

Verstappen pitted in the 26th lap and came out just ahead of Vettel.

But Vettel couldn't close the gap with the Red Bulls and was passed by Raikkonen on fresh tires.

The Ferraris of Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, however, will get underway on the faster but brittle ultrasofts.

No prizes for predicting this goes to Daniel Ricciardo, more fantastic late braking as always into Turn 8 in Lap 10 to move past Carlos Sainz into the podium places - even more impressive if, as was reported, he was suffering some auto damage following the earlier debris on track.

Many F1 fans travelled long distances by vehicle to attend the race weekend, but were unable to reach the circuit and use their tickets. Charles Leclerc picked up the final point.

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