1. Leclerc, Ferrari
2. Verstappen, Red Bull
3. Perez, Red Bull
4. Hamilton, Mercedes
5. Norris, McLaren
6. Russell, Mercedes
7. Alonso, Alpine
8. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
9. Ricciardo, McLaren
10. Ocon, Alpine
11. Bottas, Alfa Romeo
12. Vettel, Aston Martin
13. Albon, Williams
14. Gasly, AlphaTauri
15. Stroll, Aston Martin
16. Zhou, Alfa Romeo
17. Schumacher, Haas
18. Latifi, Williams
19. Sainz, Ferrari
20. Magnussen, Haas
How it happened:
At lights out, Charles Leclerc led the drivers off the line and held his lead into Turn One against the Red Bull of Max Verstappen in P2. It was a great start for Lewis Hamilton too, as he got ahead of Sergio Perez for third place.
Fernando Alonso flew up to fifth as his teammate made contact with the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda, sending the Japanese driver spinning, and dropping to the back of the pack. The Alpine driver was handed a five-second penalty for his part in the incident.
Today’s pole-sitter managed to quickly open a one-second gap over Verstappen heading into Lap Three, ensuring he was out of range once DRS kicked in.
All eyes were on the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, who jumped seven places in the opening few laps from the back of the field – he was ahead of the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, who started alongside him at the back.
By Lap Four, Verstappen had the gap to Leclerc under a second and was within the DRS zone, giving him his first chance at overtaking Leclerc. However, after a number of attempts, the Dutchman remained behind the Ferrari on Lap 12.
Meanwhile, Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez had been warned about track limits for the second time early in this race.
By Lap 16, Carlos Sainz had made some very good progress through the field after overtaking Lance Stroll to move up to P10 and had Daniel Ricciardo in his sights.
Meanwhile, the leading Ferrari of Leclerc was almost two seconds clear of the Red Bull after 15 laps, however, both had yet to pit for fresh tyres and risked being held up in the midfield should they enter now.
Despite the risk, Verstappen headed in on Lap 16 for a set of hard Pirellis and arrived back on track behind Lando Norris in seventh place.
Sainz’s charge to the front of the field was continuing as he launched his Ferrari ahead of Ricciardo in the McLaren for P9, next up in his battle to the top was the Alpine of Esteban Ocon.
Disaster struck Charles Leclerc on Lap 18, after smashing into the barriers at Turn 11. Thankfully the Monegasque driver quickly got out of the car without aid but no doubt was extremely disheartened with that end after comfortably leading from lights out.
The shunt summoned a safety car onto the track with drivers diving into the pits for a tyre change. Max Verstappen was now leading the race with Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes in second who had Perez hot on his tail in the second Red Bull in third.
The safety car returned to the pits allowing racing to resume on lap 21. Max Verstappen got away well, stretching his lead to over 1s before the end of the first lap back. Sainz was up into the top six following that safety car. He overtook the McLaren of Lando Norris and was closing in on Fernando Alonso in the Alpine.
Lap 23 saw Zhou Guanyu go spinning after being clipped by Mick Schumacher’s Haas. The German driver carried on in 17th, but Zhou was sent limping to the pits and was in 18th on his return.
Carlos Sainz had overtaken Fernando Alonso for P5 but was dealt a major setback after being handed a five-second penalty for an unsafe release from the pits.
After putting up some very serious defence, George Russell lost fourth place to the Spanish Ferrari driver after a move around the outside at Signes – however, he still had a five-second penalty to serve.
Despite his impressive pace, the blistering that Charles Leclerc was suffering earlier on Sunday, could now be seen on Carlos Sainz’s tyres. He was still closing in on the Red Bull of Sergio Perez for third and was within DRS range on Lap 38. On the other side of this battle was Hamilton in second, who had re-opened a 2.5s gap to Perez, while Verstappen’s lead was strong at around seven seconds.
On Lap 39, Nicholas Latifi went off track after making significant contact with Kevin Magnussen in the Haas. Both drivers headed to the pits for some repairs – Latifi returned in P16 and Magnussen was out of this race.
With just 11 Laps to go, Sainz finally got around the Red Bull of Sergio Perez on the main straight. Moments later George Russell’s Mercedes made contact with Perez after the British driver tried to make the overtake. Perez remained in 4th and Russell in 5th.
After the brilliant overtake for third, Carlos Sainz entered the pits to serve his five-second penalty on Lap 43 of 53 and returned to the race in ninth.
Heading towards the final laps, Verstappen was almost 10 seconds clear of Hamilton, who held a solid lead of 7.5s over Sergio Perez in third. But George Russell continued to chase down the Red Bull to claim the final step on the podium.
Carlos Sainz was by far the fastest man on the track with five laps to go and was crawling up the order once more after passing Fernando Alonso to take P5 – it wasn’t looking likely that he would place any higher this time out as George Russell was 21 seconds up ahead.
Then Guanyu Zhou stopped off track in the Alfa Romeo due to a mechanical issue, summoning a virtual safety car.
At the restart, Russell finally got around the Red Bull for third which meant Mercedes would have two drivers on the podium this time out – for the first time this season.
After a final attempt at third, Sergio Perez couldn’t get enough pace to get around the Mercedes, and crossed the line in fourth at the Circuit Paul Ricard.
Max Verstappen, who started on the front row, crossed the line in first to win the French Grand Prix for the second time in a row.
Joining him on the podium was the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and his teammate George Russell in second – marking the first double podium for the Brackley-based team this season.