Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Hamilton wins French GP to extend Mercedes' unbeaten run to 10

British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG GP celebrates with his second placed Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas on the podium after winning the 2019 French Formula One Grand Prix at Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet France 23 J Lewis Hamilton led Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas home for a 1-2 and his sixth victory of the year Credit REX
Shannon Reynolds | 25 June, 2019, 14:24

"The start was my best bet, but Lewis also had a good start, so the opportunity wasn't there".

Most of Hamilton's wins came at the back end of 2018 as he won eight of the last 11 races and he has notoriously finished seasons stronger than he starts. "Don't point the finger at the drivers - we don't write the rules".

"Paul Ricard has all the ingredients that we need in the south of France, it's glamorous and it's a fantastic venue", he said.

"We have nothing to do with the money and all that kind of stuff".

"You should put the pressure on the people that are at the head, that should be doing the job".

Leclerc said: "I gave it everything, but the Mercedes are just too quick".

"I think they are trying to, but for many, many years they've made bad decisions".

Asked if he had ever considered "showboating" by allowing rivals ahead of him to spice up the action, Hamilton said that he "can't win" however he achieves success.

The Silver Arrows' dominance added insult to injury for Ferrari, two days after the FIA rejected their request to review a decision to hit Sebastian Vettel with a five-second penalty that cost him victory at the Canadian Grand Prix.

By lap 12, Hamilton was 2.5 seconds clear of Bottas, but the Finn responded with a fastest lap of his own.

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"People really enjoyed the speed of the cars between the early 2000s I think it was".

Hamilton won his fifth race of the current campaign on Sunday at a French Grand Prix low on entertainment.

For Vettel, who qualified poorly, and Leclerc, they managed to maximise what they could with a vehicle that was demonstrably not as quick though the corners, despite making time back in the two big straights. But ultimately, Lewis had the pace advantage today and kept the tyres in better shape, so it's something for me to have a look at and learn.

After searing to his record 86th pole position on an afternoon of sizzling heat at the Le Castellet circuit, in the process helping secure a 63rd front row lockout for Mercedes at this weekend's French Grand Prix, the defending five-time world champion was in a playful mood.

"I had nothing to gain by going there, but if there is anything I can do to help, I will", he added.

"It's been a really good weekend", said the Briton after the race.

Last week, Hamilton attended a meeting in Paris between F1 teams and the FIA aimed at settling on a set of regulations for the 2021 season and beyond.

His Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff appears desperately keen to run Formula One, possibly, as he sees it, replacing F1 chief executive Chase Carey, who has been in charge since recently new owners Liberty Media took over from Bernie Ecclestone.

"They've been making all these decisions and never once had a driver's input in that room".

"I couldn't do it without this incredible team and we are creating history -- and I am so proud to be part of it", Hamilton reflected.

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