2022 Formula 1 in France: Max Verstappen takes advantage of Charles Leclerc’s woes to win French Grand Prix

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LE CASTELLET, FRANCE - JULY 24: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari F1-75 leads Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 and the rest of the field into turn one at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard on July 24, 2022 in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

His race was over.

“My throttle stuck open,” he exclaimed over his radio, then accentuated that with a guttural scream.

That made things a relatively simple Sunday drive for defending series champion Max Verstappen, who took over at the front and then set about setting fast lap after fast lap on his way to the win, somehow making the set of hard-compound tires he took on at Lap15 last until he took the checkered at Lap 53.

Behind him, Lewis Hamilton was a comfortable second with teammate George Russell third after he used a bit of legerdemain at the close of a virtual safety car period to catch Sergio Perez napping to relegate the Red Bull driver to fourth.

It was sweet revenge for Russell, who came together with Perez earlier and said that he should have been given the spot as Perez ran into him.

The race stewards saw it differently then, and Perez held onto third until Russell made the pass work with two laps left.

Unofficial finishing order
Max Verstappen, Red Bull
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
George Russell, Mercedes
Sergio Perez, Red Bull
Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, Alpine
Lando Norris, McLaren
Esteban Ocon, Alpine
Ricciardo, McLaren
Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
Alexander Albon, Williams
Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
Mick Schumacher, Haas
Zhou Guanyu, Afla Romeo
Nicholas Latifi, Williams
Kevin Magnussen, Haas
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri

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