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Result: Max Verstappen passes Lewis Hamilton to win French Grand Prix

Result: Max Verstappen passes Lewis Hamilton to win French Grand Prix
© Reuters
Max Verstappen stopped one more time than his rival as Red Bull outfoxed their Mercedes rivals.

Max Verstappen passed Hamilton on the penultimate lap to win a pulsating French Grand Prix.

Verstappen stopped one more time than his rival after Red Bull rolled the tactical dice and outfoxed their Mercedes rivals.

Indeed, Hamilton will be left questioning a series of strategy calls by his team after he led the opening exchanges of the race.

Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez also fought his way past Bottas to take third place, with the Finn fourth and Lando Norris fifth for McLaren.

Verstappen, who crossed the line 2.9 seconds clear of Hamilton, extends his championship lead to 12 points.

Hamilton led the first 19 of 53 laps. Verstappen appeared to have delivered the perfect getaway after beating the Mercedes driver to the opening corner.

But the Dutchman carried too much speed into the left-hander and fell off the track allowing Hamilton to assume the lead.

Verstappen rejoined the track to keep Bottas behind and that is how the order remained until the opening round of stops.

France F1 GP Auto Racing
Lewis Hamilton started the race strongly (Francois Mori/AP)

Mercedes blinked first, calling Bottas in on lap 17 in the hope of leapfrogging Verstappen. The Red Bull driver stopped on the ensuing lap and emerged ahead of Bottas.

Curiously, Mercedes kept Hamilton out for an additional lap, and Verstappen took advantage of his fresh rubber to move ahead of his rival.

“I am not sure what happened there, mate,” Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington told his frustrated driver after seeing the Red Bull man assume the lead.

Hamilton kept Verstappen on his toes, moving to within half-a-second of the championship leader but failing to make a real impression.

Verstappen was on the radio, warning his team that they would not be able to keep up the relentless pace without stopping again.

And sure enough, with 21 laps to go, Verstappen came in for a second change of tyres.

France F1 GP Auto Racing
Red Bull’s strategy paid off for Verstappen (Nicolas Tucat/AP)

It was a bold call by Red Bull, but one which would win them the race. Mercedes knew that Verstappen would retake the lead if they brought Hamilton in, so elected to keep the Briton and Bottas out in the hope they would be able to get to the flag.

For Verstappen, the Dutchman had an 18-second deficit to overhaul in 20 laps. With the bit between his teeth, Verstappen posted back-to-back fastest times, at one stage taking 2.5 secs out of Hamilton on just one lap and and with nine laps remaining he passed Bottas after the Finn, struggling with his worn rubber, missing the chicane.

“Why the f*** did no-one listen to me when I said it was going to be a two-stop race,” yelled. Bottas. “F****** hell.”

Hamilton was five seconds ahead, with Verstappen eating into the world champion’s lead as each lap passed.

With three laps remaining, Verstappen was just 1.5 secs behind Hamilton and on the following lap he made his move at the chicane, with Hamilton powerless to prevent him passing.

“When we made the call to do a two-stop strategy, it paid off,” said Verstappen following his third win of the season. “We had to work hard for it but it was very rewarding.

“The whole race we were fighting each other so it is going to be like this for the rest of the season.”

Hamilton said: “I am not sure how we lost the position today. We didn’t know how strong that [undercut] was going to be.

“They had a good strategy and it worked well for them. The only option I had was to stay out as long as possible and hope the tyres hold together.”

Following the chequered flag, Mercedes’ chief strategist James Vowles apologised to Hamilton, saying over the radio: “That one is on us.”

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina29171662
United StatesUnited States22251764
JapanJapan1761033
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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