Red Bull Racing can now add France to the endless list of countries where they have won a grand prix, after Max Verstappen got revenge for Barcelona and won the French Grand Prix in similar style.
It was a strategic masterclass by Red Bull, the team pitted Verstappen for a second time not long after pitting for the first, this gave Verstappen fresher tyres enabling him to hunt both Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers down and snatch the victory. It was almost an exact replica of Barcelona, but this time it was the Dutchman charging through rather than Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen who started on pole lost the lead to Hamilton on the opening lap after running off the circuit at turn one, the championship leader however regained the lead during the first round of stops after he undercut Hamilton. The team then pitted Verstappen again as it soon became apparent that a one-stop was not the fastest nor the best strategy, going against what Pirelli predicted.
Verstappen was left with a similar task to Hamilton in Spain, to hunt down and overtake the leader, which he successfully managed on the penultimate lap with an easy DRS maneuver.
It was a double podium for the team for the first time this season, as Sergio Pérez claimed third place after overtaking the other Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in the closing laps.
The result extends Verstappen’s lead in the championship as well as Red Bull’s lead in the constructors standings, as they head to a double home grand prix with back-to-back races in Austria.
Team Principal Christian Horner is extremely proud of the entire team after a brilliant call on strategy.
“I’m so proud of the whole Team to bring home back to back race wins and a double podium which extends our lead in both championships. Max got a good start but lost the lead after an early excursion which we managed to survive and, after a stonking out lap following his first pit stop, he recovered track position. We didn’t want to find ourselves in the same position as we did in Barcelona so we pulled the trigger and went for the two stop which thankfully paid off today.
“It’s always a difficult thing to pit from the lead with 21 laps to go but we don’t shy away from risks and went for it. On Checo’s side, we split the strategy with a one stop which he made work coming home in third place so all round it was a fantastic Team performance.
“You can see how close it is between the two teams, there is very little between the cars so we’ve just got to keep pushing and looking for more performance. There’s such a long way to go in this championship so you can’t take anything for granted but now we’ll take this momentum with us to Austria for the first of two home Grands Prix for the Team.”