Hamilton retakes top spot in standings after French domination

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MARSEILLE, France (CMC) – Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish to win the French Grand Prix here Sunday, and climb back to the top of the Formula One drivers standings.
The 33-year-old made the most of his nemesis Sebastian Vettel’s collision at the first corner to impose himself on the contest at the Circuit Paul Ricard and finish seven seconds clear of the second-placed Max Verstappen.
With the win, the Mercedes star moved to 145 points, stretching his lead over Vettel to 14, heading into the Austrian Grand Prix next weekend in Spielberg.
“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,” said Hamilton.
“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.”
Hamilton escaped the melee at the start when his Mercedes partner Valtteri Bottas and Vettel collided, leading to a five-lap break for the safety car.
On the restart, Hamilton sped away to open up a clear lead and remained composed throughout to claim only his third win of the new season.
Following a sluggish start to the season, Hamilton now has the ideal chance to build a lead especially heading into the European phase of the season, and he said that the team would continue to push themselves.
“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.”

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