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Lewis Hamilton cruises to French GP victory

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Lewis Hamilton put a stranglehold on the world title with a dominant victory in the French Grand Prix.

Hamilton was in a league of his own, even over his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, as the 34-year-old Briton took his sixth win in eight races.

The five-time champion leads Bottas in this year’s title race by 36 points – a win and a fifth place – after just eight races.

Bottas finished a distant second, holding off an attack from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on the final lap.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari took fourth and fifth and the only minor irritation for Hamilton was that Vettel managed to steal the point for fastest lap, by virtue of a late pit stop for fresh soft tyres.

A Sunday afternoon drive for Hamilton

Hamilton was in control from the start, after converting pole position into a lead at the first corner.

He set a steady pace in the opening laps as he looked after his tyres with a full fuel load, but as the pit stops approached Hamilton piled on the pressure.

He extended his lead over Bottas by nearly five seconds in eight laps before the Finn was called in first for his pit stop on lap 23 to ensure he covered Leclerc, who had stopped two laps before.

Hamilton followed Bottas in, and re-emerged with an even bigger lead of 11 seconds, and the race was effectively over.

It was a generally soporific race, with little in the way of competitive tension among the front-running cars, and the championship looks to be heading in the same direction.

Hamilton and Bottas were evenly matched in the first few races of the season, but the Briton has found another gear in the last three events and his team-mate currently looks a bit breathless as he tries to keep up.

This article is from the BBC Sport website / bbc.co.uk - Lewis Hamilton cruises to French GP victory

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