Written by Staff Writer
25 Jul, 2022 | 9:44 am
Max Verstappen has won the French Grand Prix, while Ferrari's Charles Leclerc all but threw away any hope of catching him in the championship battle.
Leclerc started from pole position and after surviving an early onslaught from Verstappen, appeared on track for a vital victory.
But disaster struck before the halfway mark of the race when he lost control of his car, spinning off the track and into the wall.
It's the third time this season Leclerc has crashed out while leading the race and he immediately realised the impact his latest DNF would have on his championship chances.
After crashing out, the Monegasque driver was heard breathing heavily over team radio, before he let out an almighty scream of frustration.
Verstappen took the lead and cruised to victory, while Lewis Hamilton and George Russell drove superbly to secure Mercedes' first double podium of the season.
Leclerc initially said his throttle pedal failed, but he later took responsibility for the crash and said it was a "mistake".
It was a race to forget for Ferrari, who made the baffling call to pit Carlos Sainz a second time late in the race, virtually robbing him of a podium finish.
Daniel Ricciardo drove a competitive race and finished in ninth, the same position he started in.
French Grand Prix results (top 10)
1 Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3) George Russell, Mercedes
4) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
5) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
6) Fernando Alonso, Alpine
7) Lando Norris, McLaren
8) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
9) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren
10) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
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