Tactical masterclass sees Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to win thrilling French GP

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Tactical masterclass sees Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to win thrilling French GP

A fantastic tactical drive from Max Verstappen and Red Bull saw the Dutchman overtake Lewis Hamilton on the penultimate lap and win a thrilling French Grand Prix.

The race was initially designated as a one-stop policy but the tyres degraded far quicker than anyone expected.

That led to two stops and the undercut strategy was beautifully executed by both Red Bull and McLaren, which was particularly important for the former after pole-sitter Verstappen had lost position to Hamilton on the first lap.

When they were undercut for a second time by Red Bull, Mercedes had no choice but to keep Hamilton out there and hope for the best, but they got their strategy wrong again and lost more ground in the championships after Verstappen took an extra point for the fastest lap.

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas had called it as a two-stop race earlier in proceedings and he was fuming on the team radio as he was passed by Verstappen once the Dutchman had gone onto the mediums.

The Finn’s fury was compounded when Sergio Perez, who held out longer and only stopped once as well, overtook him in the final laps for a podium finish.

The support provided by Perez as he was kept out for longer was superb in putting the pressure on the Mercedes cars.

Elsewhere it was a brilliant day for McLaren who brutally undercut the Ferraris and took the next two places behind the front four with Pierre Gasly, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz rounding off the top 10.

It was a tough day for Charles Leclerc who ended the race down in 16th.

There were no retirements for the 10th time in Formula 1 history and the first time since Austria 2019.