Hamilton denies Vettel drivers' lead with French GP win

Doug Mendoza
June 25, 2018

While Hamilton thanked his team for its "great work" via the radio after crossing the line, Vettel lamented that he "had lost the race on the first lap".

Vettel, at the back after a pit stop to fix the front wing damaged in the crash with Bottas made light work of the backmarkers, starting with a light tap as he passed Fernando Alonso's McLaren at Turn Three at the re-start, which nudged the Spaniard into a spin.

"At the restart, Hamilton comfortably retained the lead", Formula 1 noted.

Vettel took the soft tyres and emerged in 17th, his race already reduced to damage limitation.

"My mistake", he told the media.

"On top of that I grew up playing football, something I was massively into but had to stop as I was in the teenage phase when hacking was insane and didn't want to get injured and not race". Valtteri tried to get his position back, [which is] fair enough and I had nowhere to go obviously.

"I tried to slow down but with that little grip, I could only open the radius [of the steering] and that meant I had to unfortunately make contact to Valtteri".

"I am so grateful to my guys for a solid weekend.

I don't care too much". Just the wrong place.

"He just went wide and hit me".

"But was it intentional?"

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"I believe I'm the only one right now who is 8-0 against the champion in GP2 and all the categories he raced in".

Vettel has been a clinical and competitive pilot so Mercedes needs to take care of Vettel who is just behind them.

"Why did Vettel only get five seconds for this enormous mistake?" "It's another case o going from a bad weekend to a good weekend for Lewis Hamilton - and he tends to do that".

"There are some positives - we were strong as a team, although unfortunately we could not turn that into a flawless points result", he said. "But, yeah... that's the call they made".

Sebastian Vettel was almost four tenths adrift of Hamilton's 1:30.029 benchmark while the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were over half a second behind.

"It really annoyed me and was stupid to ask". We're all going into that first corner at great speeds.

"We had good pace, I tried to hammer through the field to recover and damaged the tyres, therefore it is a bit hard to say. If the wind was the other way around, I think it would have been more hard".

Hamilton moved back atop the standings with 145 points from eight races while previous leader Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari has 131 after settling for fifth place following a collision on the first corner.

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Elaborating on his approach to the corner, Vettel says he was only marginally too late on the brakes and would not have run wide had there not been a vehicle on his outside.

Other reports by GizPress

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