F1 French Grand Prix LIVE! Verstappen wins - Race reaction and latest updates today

F1 French Grand Prix LIVE! Verstappen wins - Race reaction and latest updates today

F1 French Grand Prix LIVE!

Defending F1 champion Max Verstappen won the French Grand Prix on Sunday after Charles Leclerc crashed out as Ferrari's woes resurfaced, falling 63 points behind the Red Bull driver in the championship.

Lewis Hamilton finished second in his 300th GP — securing a fourth-straight podium — while George Russell overtook Sergio Perez's Red Bull following a virtual safety car restart late in the race to give Mercedes its first podium double of the season.

Leclerc's race ended on Lap 18 when he lost the rear of his car coming out of Turn 11, spinning 360 degrees before crashing into a tyre wall. Leclerc could not speak at first, breathing heavily in his helmet before telling his team the mishap was caused by another throttle problem, and then letting out a furious “Noooooooooo!”. It was the third time he did not finish a race this season — Ferrari's seventh in 12 races — and came two weeks after a throttle problem almost cost him victory at the Austrian GP.

F1 French Grand Prix updates

  • LIGHTS OUT! Leclerc leads as Hamilton grabs third

  • CRASH! Leclerc hits the wall from first place

  • CHEQUERED FLAG! Verstappen wins

Thanks for joining us!

16:59 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen took a big step towards the 2022 Formula One title with victory in the French Grand Prix after Charles Leclerc crashed out from first place.

Read our full race report.

Max Verstappen won the French Grand Prix (Getty Images)
Max Verstappen won the French Grand Prix (Getty Images)

Ferrari masters of their own downfall

16:52 , Marc Mayo

Charles Leclerc shouldered the blame for crashing out of the French Grand Prix while leading Sunday’s race.

Numerous unforced errors from the driver and his Ferrari team have stifled his bid to win a first Formula One world title and his spin off into the tyre barrier at Circuit Paul Ricard could prove the most costly.

Leclerc had suggested his throttle was an issue immediately after the crash - which prompted a blood-curdling scream over team radio - but the 24-year-old later admitted he simply lost control of the car.

“I’m performing at the highest level of my career but if I keep making those mistakes it’s pointless,” he stated afterwards.

“I’m losing too many points: seven at Imola, 25 here because honestly we were the strongest car on track today. So if we lose the championship by 32 points at the end of the season I will know where it came from.”

Read the full story.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The winning moment

16:43 , Marc Mayo

Hamilton reviews the race

16:27 , Marc Mayo

“I feel fantastic, just a little dehydrated. The drinks bottle didn’t work in the race - I don’t actually ever really drink in the race so it’s the first time I’d actually tried it all year but nothing came out. What a day, what a weekend.

“I’m just so proud of the team, it’s an incredible result. Winning races and getting results look this is about the whole package. We know we don’t have the pace of the teams ahead but reliability is a huge fundamental part of the process.”

Carlos Sainz defends Ferrari strategy

16:23 , Marc Mayo

“Starting 19th and with how everything went, finishing fifth is okay. We’re gonna take it. But on a perfect day it could have been better. I think the team is doing a very good job, at Ferrari we get super criticised - we are not a disaster like people say we are.”

Toto Wolff gives his reaction

16:20 , Marc Mayo

“Overall the team effort was great, the drivers did a really good job. We are doing the maximum at the moment on race day.”

The best day of Mercedes’ season so far

16:18 , Marc Mayo

16:12 , Marc Mayo

Charles Leclerc has taken the blame for his dramatic exit from the race - describing the incident as a “mistake”.

“We’ll add things up at the end of the season, but if we’re 25 or 30 points short at the season I can only blame myself,” Leclerc said.

“I couldn’t go into reverse, but those are small details. You just can’t put a car into the wall.”

Fresh heartbreak for Leclerc

16:02 , Marc Mayo

15:54 , Marc Mayo

Check out the latest drivers’ standings.

The champagne!

15:52 , Marc Mayo

Those drivers will be mighty relieved to get a dousing on the podium!

Verstappen gives his reaction

15:44 , Marc Mayo

“We had really good pace from the start but following around here with the temperature, I couldn’t really do it with the tyres. You never know how the race is going to go but the car was quick. It was all about just looking after the tyres to the end.”

More from Hamilton

15:42 , Marc Mayo

“I have to give it up to this crowd in France, the biggest I think we’ve had here. That was a tough race because my drinks bottle didn’t work, reliability has been one thing my team has been amazing at so congratulations to the team. I would imagine [I lost] around three kilos.”

Hamilton on team radio

15:36 , Marc Mayo

“Woo! Great job guys, that’s an incredible result. That shows the hard work we’re doing. And great job George”

Chequered flag!

15:34 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen wins at Circuit Paul Ricard, followed by Hamilton!

And Russell makes it stick to claim third place!

Final lap!

15:32 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen is set to win the French Grand Prix with Perez fighting Russell for third place...

15:29 , Marc Mayo

Russell makes the move!

Right off the restart the Mercedes nabs third with Perez sleeping in the final sector!

Green flag!

15:28 , Marc Mayo

So we will get the last couple of laps of racing, in fact.

Virtual safety car!

15:27 , Marc Mayo

Zhou stopping may well have just neutralised the end of this race...

15:26 , Marc Mayo

Lap 50/53: The big battle of the final laps will be Russell on Perez, to earn a potential double podium for Mercedes with Hamilton well clear in second.

Sainz is not happy with that stop despite going fifth...

But it may not matter with Zhou parked on the side of Turn 5 and out!

15:24 , Marc Mayo

Sainz has pulled himself back to fifth place and looks good for the fastest lap, so that pit stop may well have been the lesser of two evils - particularly given those old blistered tyres might have exploded had he not stopped.

15:20 , Marc Mayo

Lap 46/53: Toto Wolff on team radio to tell Russell to stop complaining and focus on getting the job done on Perez.

The young Mercedes driver certainly cannot expect any penalty for the Mexican after that overtake went wrong.

15:18 , Marc Mayo

Hamilton is just under 10 seconds off Verstappen as the final ten laps begin.

Will he be joined on the podium by Russell? The evidently-irked Brit is still going at Perez...

Sainz, meanwhile, has dropped to ninth with that stop and penalty, and is chewing up the McLarens and Alpines but has a lot of ground to make up on the Mediums now.

15:15 , Marc Mayo

Lap 42/53: Russell is next to have a go at Perez!

A late dive into the Mistral chicane and the Mexican pulled out, and kept third.

“He slammed into me,” Russell says and he wants the place back... but he’s fourth now anyway with Sainz pitting!

15:14 , Marc Mayo

A bit of a disagreement between Ferrari and Sainz over team radio with the driver wanting to stop for new tyres before having a go at Perez.

No dice, and no stop as the Scuderia tell him to stay out.

And then Ferrari tell him to box as they scrap into the final turn.... “Not now! Not now!” he shoots back. Madness.

“Come on guys,” he adds.

15:12 , Marc Mayo

Lap 40/53: That will do for Magnussen, who retires after some big early promise fades with some bad luck at the safety car pit stops and a tangle with Latifi.

Sainz tells Ferrari team radio he cannot pass Perez, forcing a change of plan. Pitting would be a very bold move indeed, with the five-second penalty only dropping him to fifth as things stand.

15:09 , Marc Mayo

Latifi is the next man to spend some time off track after a scuffle with Magnussen that led to the Haas bouncing off the kerb and sending his Williams spiralling.

A bit of a racing incident in reality, with Perez and Sainz now scrapping for third place.

15:05 , Marc Mayo

Lap 36/53: Hamilton checks on his rivals’ tyre degradation having put over two seconds between himself and Perez, but Verstappen remains some seven seconds up the road on slightly older tyres.

And we can add Stroll to the list of drivers throwing “leave me alone” back at this engineer after some advice over team radio. Welcome to the club, Lance.

15:03 , Marc Mayo

A hefty blister has formed on Sainz’s front-right tyre, with a long way left for him to complete the race as he avoids pitting once more.

The Ferrari still has plenty of pace, which will make it all the more maddening that all they have left is a driver running fourth with a five-second penalty hanging over him.

14:59 , Marc Mayo

Lap 32/53: Mercedes reckon Sainz will go to the end but the team tell Russell he is not fighting the Ferrari, who sits 2.9-seconds off Perez.

Hamilton goes slightly off-track at Turn 2 to drop back to over 5.7 seconds from Verstappen.

Ricciardo, Ocon and Stroll currently occupy the final three points positions. Albon, Vettel and Bottas in pursuit.

14:54 , Marc Mayo

Perhaps a sense that Hamilton is holding back some pace to challenge Verstappen later in the race but a new fastest lap from the Red Bull shows the leader also has a bit left in his locker.

Speaking of which, Sainz can now push towards the podium places after a strong move on Russell down the end of the back straight.

14:49 , Marc Mayo

Lap 26/53: Verstappen has a 3.3-second lead over Hamilton who is just out of DRS range for Perez.

Russell sits just 0.6 seconds ahead of Sainz, who has pulled his Ferrari towards the frontrunners but will struggle to make the podium now with the Medium likely needing another stop.

Zhou gets a five-second penalty for that Schumacher tangle.

Five second penalty for Sainz!

14:45 , Marc Mayo

That unsafe release from his pit stop draws a punishment from the stewards.

14:43 , Marc Mayo

Sainz, on the Medium tyres with the rest of the field bar Gasly (in 12th) on Hards, breezes into fifth as he targets at least a podium.

Yellow flag in the third sector as Schumacher spins but continues. Zhou pits for a new front-wing, two incidents very likely connected.

Indeed, replays show the young Alfa Romeo driver correcting a bit of oversteer and darting into the side of the Haas as a result.

14:40 , Marc Mayo

Lap 22/53: Sainz pitted at the safety car and looked to have be let out with an unsafe release - let’s see if anything comes of that.

The Spaniard rises into sixth past Norris and now wants fifth off Alonso.

Green flag!

14:39 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen cruises into the distance with Hamilton, Perez and Russell completing the top four.

Alonso is fifth ahead of Norris, Sainz, Ricciardo, Ocon and Stroll.

14:38 , Marc Mayo

The most furious scream of “NO!” let out by Leclerc on the team radio after that crash. A throttle issue also appears to have impacted the shunt.

Verstappen checks on team radio his title rival is alright.

Meanwhile, Tsunoda has retired in the AlphaTauri after the earlier spin.

Safety car in this lap.

14:35 , Marc Mayo

Lap 20/53: Several cars pit under the safety car and Verstappen leads Hamilton with Perez third.

Replays suggest Leclerc’s rear tyres just gave up due to degradation...

Leclerc in the wall!

14:33 , Marc Mayo

The race leader crashes out!

At Le Beausset, the Ferrari goes straight on and hits the tyre barrier! What a mistake to make! He’s fine with minimal wreckage, but his race very much over.

Safety car is out...

14:32 , Marc Mayo

Lap 18/53: Ferrari tell Leclerc the Hards are two tenths slower than anticipated, perhaps explaining their decision to keep him out so far.

Verstappen has made light work of Norris and has a little bit of clear air to push into.

Verstappen pits!

14:30 , Marc Mayo

Hard tyres go on and 2.4-seconds later, he departs the pit lane to reappear seventh and stuck behind Norris.

14:29 , Marc Mayo

The track temperature is a whopping 55°C right now, and rising! The combination of heat, a relatively short DRS zone and traffic if they pit now will all factor into Ferrari and Red Bull’s strategy.

Sainz also takes Plan B as he puts his car on the back of Ricciardo in a battle for ninth.

14:27 , Marc Mayo

Lap 14/53: Leclerc has broken DRS on Verstappen with over a second between the lead pair, and Red Bull may have to focus on when to pit their driver if they hope to snatch the lead.

14:23 , Marc Mayo

Leclerc confirms “plan B” offered by Ferrari with two-stop pit strategies becoming more and more prominent with overtaking difficult and tyres suffering in the heat.

14:21 , Marc Mayo

Lap 11/53: Perez has dropped back to 2.1 seconds behind Hamilton in the battle for third, is he cooling off and conserving energy before a fresh push or has the Mercedes found some pace?

In fact, Russell is only just over a second off the Mexican...

14:19 , Marc Mayo

“The pace is good, you are doing a good job,” Ferrari tell Sainz in 12th. “It doesn’t feel that way,” he shoots back!

Magnussen is the first to pit, ditching his Hards for Mediums in a likely - and rare - two-stopper. Schumacher and Zhou follow through.

14:17 , Marc Mayo

Lap 8/53: Hamilton is already over five seconds off the lead as he defends from Perez, a battle Ferrari will be very happy with.

Red Bull also continue to be frustrated by Leclerc with overtaking being rather stunted by the Mistral straight chicane.

Ocon has got Ricciardo for eighth but has that time penalty to conted with while Aston Martin are enjoying a great start, up to 10th and 11th for Stroll and Vettel respectively.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

14:14 , Marc Mayo

Just a slight look at Leclerc for Verstappen down the Mistral straight and the long Beaussetback hairpin sees the Red Bull right alongside him... but Leclerc holds on!

The Dutchman did have the early pace in Austria a week ago but Ferrari look like they will find this race a lot tougher.

14:12 , Marc Mayo

Lap 6/53: Hamilton will find it tough to keep Perez off his back as the Mexican draws closer and closer to the third-placed car...

Russell has got Alonso to move into fifth and Sainz is now on the back of Magnussen, in 13th place after grid penalties for the Spaniard.

14:10 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen is going nowhere with Leclerc’s rear-wing firmly in view as he activates DRS down the long back straight.

This time around, the Ferrari holds on down the Mistral straight.

Meanwhile, a five-second penalty for Ocon spinning Tsunoda on the opening lap.

14:07 , Marc Mayo

Lap 3/53: Leclerc is already a second ahead of Verstappen, is the Ferrari using up all its tyres too early or does it have genuine pace?

Perez is taking an interest in Hamilton for third with Alonso now defending Russell in fifth, Norris having dropped to seventh and now being chased by Ricciardo.

At the back, Magnussen has catapulted through to 13th from 20th and Sainz is only 16th. Tsunoda will continue after the tangle with Ocon.

LIGHTS OUT!

14:04 , Marc Mayo

Leclerc leads with Hamilton getting Perez to go third!

A poor start from Red Bull with Verstappen stuck in second and Perez dropping off, with Alonso pushing forward into fifth.

Tsunoda spins in the midfield!

Formation lap begins!

14:00 , Marc Mayo

Time for the very last preparations ahead of the F1 French Grand Prix...

Medium tyres the order of the day for the frontrunners.

Can Lewis Hamilton add to these numbers in his 300th F1 grand prix?

13:57 , Marc Mayo

Tyre strategy

13:54 , Marc Mayo

A one-stop looks the favourable strategy around Circuit Paul Ricard with the track having extended its pit-lane exit to add on a further four to five seconds of slow speed.

Christian Horner previews the race

13:51 , Marc Mayo

“It’s going to be hot, strategy will be important, tyre degradation. We’ve got two very different strategies of how to tackle this track between ourselves and Ferrari. It’s all going to be about tyre management.”

Vote in our poll as the national anthem begins in Le Castellet

13:45 , Marc Mayo

Famous faces always turn out for F1

13:44 , Marc Mayo

Will Ferrari come a cropper again today?

13:42 , Marc Mayo

Relability issues continue to worry Ferrari after recent race retirements for both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

“It is always at the back of your mind,” admitted racing director Laurent Mekies to Sky Sports yesterday . “If you have a few failures from the race lead, you will not forget about them very easily.

“We have lost a few races like that this year. It is a long cycle to get on top of these issues, we know it is not something we can fix overnight so everybody is very united to try to deal with it as best as we can right now.

“Yes, it is in the back of our minds but hopefully it is something we will be dealing with better and better.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Grid penalties

13:38 , Marc Mayo

Carlos Sainz and Kevin Magnussen will start from the back row of the grid after taking extra power unit pieces above their allocation for the season.

After a dramatic fire ended his Austrian Grand Prix, Sainz’s Ferrari took a new control electronics unit before refreshing their engine, turbocharger, MGU-K and MGU-H to drop him to 19th.

Magnussen took a new engine, turbocharger, MGU-K and MGU-H ahead of the race.

Ice packs at the ready on the grid

13:33 , Marc Mayo

Hamilton on 300th F1 GP

13:28 , Marc Mayo

Lewis Hamilton is hoping to mark his 300th race start with a strong performance from fourth place.

“The whole realization of reaching your dream is a very, very surreal experience and it is always going to be your first,” Hamilton said of the milestone earlier in the weekend.

“The amount of sleepless nights as a family that all of us had had, not knowing whether or not we would actually reach our goal, reach our dream, but never giving up.”

Pit lane open!

13:24 , Marc Mayo

Time for the drivers to head out the garages and prepare for their run to the grid...

More to come from Mercedes

13:18 , Marc Mayo

Toto Wolff voiced his disappointment with Mercedes’ qualifying performance despite Lewis Hamilton putting his car fourth on the grid.

With the Brit still over half a second off pole position, Wolff told Sky Sports: “I think we knew that once we got the new tyres on and we are driving the car in anger that we would be there in third and fourth, like we have been all season.

“But it’s just not good enough. In the end the overall package is just not quick enough and we can see that.”

A truly iconic piece of motorsport history!

13:10 , Marc Mayo

Rosberg doubts Leclerc’s chances

13:05 , Marc Mayo

Ferrari’s car setup will hand the advantage to Max Verstappen and Red Bull despite Charles Leclerc claiming pole position for today’s grand prix, says Nico Rosberg.

The former world champion told Sky Sports: “It was incredibly impressive from Charles Leclerc, but I have a feeling that Ferrari might be making a mistake with the setup of their car.

“I think they have too much downforce on that car, because when you have more downforce on, it means you go faster in the corners and load the tyres more and also cause tyre wear and stress them.

“The problem is, the Red Bull's quick on the straight so the Ferrari can't back off too much because if the Red Bulls are close coming out of the corners, they could catch Charles on the straights.”

Lights out in one hour!

13:00 , Marc Mayo

The 12th race of the 2022 season is almost upon us...

Qualifying recap

12:56 , Marc Mayo

Lewis Hamilton will start his 300th Formula One race from fourth on the grid after Charles Leclerc secured pole position at the French Grand Prix.

Leclerc breathed fresh life into his championship bid with a comprehensive victory at the last round in Austria a fortnight ago.

And the Monegasque will be in prime position to secure another much-needed win in his title fight against Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Read the full story.

300 not out for Hamilton

12:51 , Marc Mayo

Leclerc also a popular boy

12:46 , Marc Mayo

There is, of course, lots of love for Charles Leclerc in the south of France today with Ferrari very popular here and the Monaco-born driver hailing from just a couple of hours up the road.

He starts on pole today and said after qualifying: “I think it will be tricky, because the Red Bull guys seem to be very, very quick in the race simulations they've done yesterday.

“So we've worked a little bit on the car for the race. Hopefully, it will go better for us tomorrow. But tyre management will be a thing.

“We were good in Austria, we struggled a bit more yesterday, but I think we did a significant step up in performance since yesterday so hopefully we can show that tomorrow in the race.”

The French drivers are well supported here in Le Castellet

12:41 , Marc Mayo

Wholesome content alert

12:34 , Marc Mayo

Well, if you ignore the fact Lando Norris streamed the drivers’ parade and filmed himself sticking a cheeky middle finger up at his teammate..!

The drivers’ parade takes place at Paul Ricard

12:29 , Marc Mayo

Some very lovely classic cars on display in today’s parade - and lots of love for the French drivers!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ferrari don’t fear the heat

12:25 , Marc Mayo

Ferrari power units will not struggle in today’s boiling-hot French Grand Prix, says Valtteri Bottas.

The Finn’s Alfa Romeo is powered by a Ferrari engine and he outlined why the weather has not been the factor behind its reliability issues.

“We haven’t seen anything that relates to the heat,” Bottas said. “We’ve had cooling issues, but that’s been normally a leak in the cooling system – so it would be a problem when it’s cold or hot.

“So we haven’t seen any proof that the heat would actually be a big concern. We feel like we have margin in the cooling and stuff and those issues, for now, feels like they’re sorted.”

Weather forecast

12:20 , Marc Mayo

It is El Scorchio in Le Castellet with no chance of rain at all in the blistering sunshine hitting 33ºC for today’s race.

A reasonable 10mph wind could catch drivers out with the odd gust - but nevertheless this will be one of if not the hottest grands prix of the season.

Today’ starting grid

12:16 , Marc Mayo

How to watch

12:12 , Marc Mayo

TV channel: The race will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 and Main Event, with coverage beginning at 12.30pm BST on F1 and 1.55pm on Main Event before it begins at 2pm.

Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers can also tune in online via the Sky Go app.

Free highlights: Channel 4 will be airing full free-to-air race highlights at 6.30pm on Sunday evening.

Good afternoon!

12:03 , Marc Mayo

Welcome to Standard Sport’s live coverage of the F1 French Grand Prix!

Today’s race, Lewis Hamilton’s 300th in the sport, promises to be a memorable one as the 2022 season enters its second half.

Charles Leclerc is on pole position with the race set to begin at 2pm BST.