As it happenedended1561301916

French Grand Prix 2019: Lewis Hamilton powers to victory to stretch F1 championship lead over Valtteri Bottas

Re-live all the action from the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard

Formula One: 1000 races in numbers

Lewis Hamilton dominated from start to finish to win a second consecutive French Grand Prix and take his fourth victory in a row, leaving all of his rivals in his wake at Paul Ricard.

Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas finished a lengthy 18 second behind the championship leader, and the Finn nearly lost second place as Ferrari's Charles Leclerc had a run at him into the final corner as he struggled to reheat his tyres following a late virtual safety car, though the chequered flag came one lap too soon for the Monogasque.

Max Verstappen kept Sebastian Vettel at bay to take fourth, with Carlos Sainz impressing for McLaren in sixth. However, a hydraulic problem saw Lando Norris lose seventh on the final lap as Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg flashed past to relegate him to 10th. Re-live the action below.

What time does it start?

The French Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 23 June at 2:10pm BST (3:10 CET).

How can I watch it?

The race will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 from 12:30pm BST.

Starting grid

1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1min 28.319secs

2 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:28.605

3 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:28.965

4 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:29.409

5 Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:29.418

6 Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:29.522

7 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:29.799

8 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:29.918

9 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Red Bull 1:30.184

10 Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:33.420

11 Alexander Albon (Tha) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:30.461

12 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:30.533

13 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:30.544

14 Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:30.738

15 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:31.440

16 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:31.626

17 Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:31.726

18 Robert Kubica (Pol) Williams 1:33.205

19 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:31.564 + 10-place grid penalty

20 George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:32.789 + 25-place grid penalty

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Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of the French Grand Prix, brought to you from the Paul Ricard Circuit in Le Castellet where Lewis Hamilton starts from pole position.

Lights out is scheduled for 2:10pm this afternoon, and we'll begin our full race build-up from 1pm.

Jack de Menezes23 June 2019 10:45
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So the eighth F1 race of the season takes place in France at the Paul Ricard Circuit, situated in the south of the country east of Marseille in the picturesque town of Le Castellet.

The race only returned to the calendar last year when a dramatic start saw Sebastian Vettel make contact with Valtteri Bottas and cost the pair of them a podium finish behind race winner Lewis Hamilton, allowing Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen to join him on the rostrum.

Well, this time around it's deja vu for Vettel who is once again on the back foot ahead of the race for reasons that we'll get into shortly.

But before then, catch-up on what happened in the 2018 French Grand Prix.

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Jack de Menezes23 June 2019 13:10
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From last year to this year and in particular Saturday's qualifying session where it was once again smooth sailing for Mercedes and an unraveling nightmare for Ferrari/

Practice had suggested that qualifying would be an all-Mercedes affair and so it proved, with Hamilton and Bottas going toe-to-toe at the front of the grid.

It would be Hamilton who would gain the upper hand, with his opening lap of Q3 enough to take pole position before setting an even faster lap time with his second effort where Bottas was unable to improve. 

Leclerc proved the best of the rest, with the Ferrari six-tenths of a second slower than Hamilton to show the clear difference in pace between the two cars. Yet while Leclerc was pleased with his efforts, it was a very different story for teammate Vettel as the four-time world champion was forced to abandon his opening lap due to an "upshifting problem" before labouring to seventh with his second and final effort.

The story of the day though went to the McLarens, who justified their optimism by locking out the third row of the grid as rookie driver Lando Norris took fifth ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz, placing them neatly between Max Verstappen's Red Bull and Vettel.

Jack de Menezes23 June 2019 13:19
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Catch up on how events played out in qualifying ahead of the start of the race.

Jack de Menezes23 June 2019 13:26
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Some news to bring you before the race gets going.

Following yesterday's qualifying session, Ferrari found an oil leak on Vettel's car and have subsequently been allowed to change the oil pump under parc ferme conditions. However, Ferrari chief Mattio Binotto has confirmed that the oil leak had no impact on Vettel's qualifying pace, so the mystery continues there.

Elsewhere, Carlos Sainz had damage to the floor and plank of his McLaren, both of which have been changed.

Jack de Menezes23 June 2019 13:30
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*PIT LANE OPEN*

With 40 minutes to go until lights out, the green light switches on at the end of pit lane and the drivers start to make their way out for a couple of reconnaissance laps before making their way to the grid.

Jack de Menezes23 June 2019 13:32
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All seems well with the Vettel Ferrari as he makes his way to the grid reporting no dramas - well, apart from the obvious one that he's down on the fourth row and can barely see pole-sitter Hamilton.

The Ferrari will need a fast start to try and get by the two McLarens and mix it up with Verstappen and Leclerc, as neither Norris nor Sainz will be a roadblock this afternoon. The McLarens genuinely look fast at Paul Ricard - when was the last time we could say that? - and Norris was just 0.009s off overhauling Verstappen for fourth, and if Vettel can't get by them he could be in for a long afternoon.

Jack de Menezes23 June 2019 13:45
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STRATEGYOur friends at Pirelli believe that while the one-stop option is significantly faster than the two-stop strategy due to the long pit-lane entry at Paul Ricard, the deterioration of tyres could lead to many being forced to opt for the later midway through the race.

If the frontrunners are going to make the one-stop option work, they'll need to clear the opening 14 laps before heading in to get rid of the softs.

Jack de Menezes23 June 2019 13:48
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Zak Brown speak to Martin Brundle about whether Saturday was his best day in F1 yet:

"Definitely, the drivers have done a great job, the engineers have dialled in the car and for all the men and women working here and back at the factory are seeing the results of all the hard work.

"I think we know where we have our shortcomings and we'e been working on that. Carlos fed back some information on Friday and we've tried something new for that."

Jack de Menezes23 June 2019 13:51
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How will the tyres last?

"Really bad actually," says Toro Rosso's Alexander Albon. "The degredation is bad and we saw in qualifying some people were doing the times on the hard tyres. We'll need to look after them.

Jack de Menezes23 June 2019 13:56

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