Lewis Hamilton Not a Fan of 'Confusing' Paul Ricard Circuit

Lewis Hamilton Sebastian Vettel

Lewis Hamilton Sebastian Vettel

Mercedes brought an upgraded power unit to Le Castellet and Hamilton, who has yet to win in France, has been consistently quick.

"Obviously for Valtteri it was very bad because it affected his race and he had nothing to do with it, so I went to him after the race [to talk to him]".

Hamilton added: "To have this result is a great day for the United Kingdom, and I hope that I have contributed in a positive way".

After all the commotion, polesitter Hamilton was leading with Verstappen second, Ricciardo fourth, Vettel 11th and Bottas 13th.

Vettel also jumped to Hamilton's defence in Bahrain last April when the Briton was caught insulting Dutch youngster Max Verstappen in the drivers' room before the podium celebrations. Bottas was in a collision with Vettel and went to the back of the field.

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.

Both suffered comprehensive damage to their cars and had to retire, leaving Romain Grosjean to carry the French flag after surviving an incident when Vettel, minus a front wing on his Ferrari, made contact with his Haas vehicle.

Sitting to Hamilton's right, he jovially said: "Next time you see Seb you should ask him to change his style".

The victory placed Hamilton back atop the drivers standings on 151 points, five points ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

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The race restarted on lap six, and Vettel wasted no time passing Fernando Alonso as he squeezed his way through at Turn Four.

"I should think it's such a grotesque amount of money it's making Toto and Niki's eyes water at the moment", said Red Bull boss Christian Horner. "They work to create the best engine in the world".

"We need to identify the cause of the water leak, but we're confident that we continue to run the new engine." .

"We are all on the edge and fighting for world championships", Hamilton said in defence of his rival.

Kimi Raikkonen was sixth in the second Ferrari ahead of Carlos Sainz of Renault, Charles Leclerc of Sauber, Kevin Magnussen and his Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean, who crashed during the top-ten shootout, halting the session for eight minutes.

Basking in the Mediterranean sun, driving conditions were optimal at the 5.8-kilometre circuit situated next to a private airport where planes took off and landed all weekend.

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

Hamilton was the first driver to dip into the 1:33s and then clocked 1:32.539 to move seven-tenths clear of Ricciardo at the top.

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