Welcome to the coverage of the French GP 2022, live from circuit Paul Ricard

The French GP is one of the oldest motor races in the world as well as the first “Grand Prix”. It ceased shortly after its centenary in 2008 with 86 races having been held, due to unfavorable financial circumstances and venues. The race returned to the Formula One calendar in 2018 with Circuit Paul Ricard hosting the race.

In today’s race, Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez Perez will start today’s race from P1, P2 and P3 positions on the grid respectively.

Formation lap under way!

Charles Leclerc leads the 19 other drivers off the line for one more tour around this historic circuit – and we’re not far away now.

Tsunoda goes spinning!

Was there contact from Esteban Ocon there?

Either way, his great work in qualifying has been undone as Yuki Tsunoda drops to the back of the pack!

Verstappen closes gap!

That gap Charles Leclerc opened up hasn’t lasted very long. 

Verstappen has it under a second, and will be within DRS zone, and in with a chance of overtaking Leclerc. 

Sergio Perez is also closing up on Lewis Hamilton. 

4/53 The suggestion is Leclerc’s tyres may already a little worn, as Verstappen speeds after Leclerc, with Christian Horner praising his No 1 driver’s “good pace”. Hamilton is already four seconds back, and further back in the field, Ocon has been penalised five seconds for that Tsunoda incident in the first lap

7/53 The view from the Verstappen cockpit is the rear end of Charles Leclerc and has been for the last couple of laps. A gap opens up, but the chicane offers respite to the Ferrari, this will have to be a defensive effort from the Monegasque.

12/53 Leclerc defending his position well, as Ferrari pass 50,000 miles as the leader of an F1 race. Sainz goes up to 11th as Fernando Alonso overtakes Kimmi Raikkonen’s record of most miles on track. All our yesterdays out there at the moment.

16/53 Lewis Hamilton’s pace is dropping off, and he’s nowhere near in touch with the Red Bull and Ferrari up ahead of them. In comes the Red Bull of Max Verstappen for a 2.4 seconds, very quick, pit stop. That puts Hamilton behind Leclerc and drops Verstappen back to seventh.

Leclerc crashes out!

18/53 “You need to push now,” Christian Horner tells Verstappen, but hang, on Leclerc has smashed into the tyre wall at the side of the road. What happened there? He seemed to just lose the run of the car

20/53 Yuki Tsunoda is out, unable to survive the damage he suffered at the start. The safety car is out, and will be until the end of the next lap. “He’s alright,” asks Verstappen of his team. “He’s OK,” says Christian Horner. It looked nasty, though thankfully it wasn’t. But Ferrari have questions to answer.

22/53 We await news from the Ferrari team, reliability was always going to be an issue. Leclerc looks bereft as he he wanders back to his team garage. We await news of whether this was driver or technical error. There’s a yellow flag on, as Mick Schumacher spins, the crowd recoiling as he does. Zhou has to come in for a new front wing, so there has to have been contact.

26/53 Russell continuing to plough into Perez, and Sainz is behind him in fifth, but soon to be on the end of that five-second penalty.

28/53 A Verstappen error, and Hamilton, in his 300th race, who is flying along, could be in clover. He seems to be minding his tyres, and waiting for his chance. Verstappen is still quickest here but strategy is where Hamilton can damage his rival. He’s still almost four seconds down.

33/53 Sainz’s front-right tyre has a blister rather like that which may or may not have sunk Leclerc. Perez is just over a second slower than Hamilton, and perhaps gaining.

35/53 Verstappen has the race in his command, and Mercedes may well be waiting a long time for an error. Back in the race for 8th, Ricciardo is being chased down by Ocon

40/53 Magnussen is out after his smash into Nicholas Latifi. Let’s see what the commissioners say about that. Carlos Sainz has been told to adopt “plan D’, whatever that is

45/53 Perez is looking slow, and Toto Wolff tells Russell to keep his head and take the place on merit. The Red Bull’s tyres look to be ailing.

Leclerc admits blame for his crash

47/53 “Mistake,” admits Leclerc of the prang that offered Verstappen the race. “I am losing too many points. We were the strongest on track today and it’s unacceptable. It’s trying to push too much and I lost the rear. When it’s warm like this it’s difficult be consistent. I made the mistake at the wrong moment.

Russell overtakes Perez to take third

50/53 Guanyu Zhou’s car is shuffled off the side of the track, and Verstappen is asking his team whether he can come in for a stop, perhaps to try and get a fastest lap. The virtual safety car is ended, and Russell slows up to speed away and try and chase down Perez and he flies past into third.

Max Verstappen wins the French GP!

53/53 Perez getting closer and closer on the final lap, and hunting down Russell with DRS in hand. Can the young Englishman stay away? Sainz still has the fastest lap. Verstappen, up ahead, takes the 27th win of his career, and Hamilton takes his first second place of the season as Russell completes the podium, Sainz chasing down Perez for fifth.

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