Formula 1 Commentary

Live: F1 French GP commentary and updates

Live commentary and updates for the 2022 edition of the Formula 1 French Grand Prix, taking place at Paul Ricard this weekend.

Live: F1 French GP commentary and updates

Ferrari heads into the race at the Le Castellet circuit on the back of two victories: Carlos Sainz took his maiden win at Silverstone, while Charles Leclerc claimed the spoils last time out in Austria.

Max Verstappen still leads the title battle, but now 38 points clear of Leclerc as the Monegasque displaced Sergio Perez from second in the standings.

Leclerc starts the French GP from pole with Verstappen alongside him on the front row.

By: Haydn Cobb, Tom Howard, Megan White

Summary

Summary
  • Verstappen wins the French Grand Prix
  • The Red Bull driver took the lead after Leclerc crashed out of the lead
  • Mercedes take a double podium with Hamilton second and Russell third
  • Perez fourth after late battle with Russell
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Hamilton, Mercedes
  3. Russell, Mercedes
  4. Perez, Red Bull
  5. Sainz, Ferrari
  6. Alonso, Alpine
  7. Norris, McLaren
  8. Ocon, Alpine
  9. Ricciardo, McLaren
  10. Stroll, Aston Martin
Status: Stopped
With that, we'll wrap up this live text coverage of the French GP, as the post-race reaction begins to flood in from Circuit Paul Ricard. Thanks for spending this afternoon with us and have a lovely rest of your Sunday! Cheers!
Verstappen will rightfully take the headlines for his victory, but Leclerc's crash and radio of his heavy breathing and screaming "Noooooo!" will live long in the memory for this F1 title fight.
 
With the anthems played and the trophies handed out, the top three drivers enjoy a refreshing Ferrari Trento prosecco shower. That is until it gets sticky.
Russell, Hamilton and Verstappen make their way back into the sunshine and on to the podium. Hamilton is back on his feet, you'll be pleased to hear.
 
Hamilton, feeling the effects of the whole race without a drink, is lay on his back in the middle of the drivers' cooldown room before the podium ceremony, watching the race highlights with team-mate Russell.
Verstappen on his win: "We had really good pace at the start but following here was hard with the tyres overheating. So we stayed calm and close, pitted earlier, but you never know how it is going to go. Unlucky for Charles and glad to hear he is OK."
Hamilton on his second place on his 300th F1 start: "We've been so far off these guys this weekend but the reliability has been strong so big thanks to the guys at the factory." He later reveals his drinks bottle didn't work during the race - thirsty work!
Russell on his battle with Perez: "I saw him struggling when Sainz got by. For me the rules are pretty clear, front wheels to rear wheels when you are on the inside. But still, we carried on and got the podium."
 
Verstappen fortifies his F1 world championship lead with that win coupled with Leclerc's crash out of the lead. He now heads the standings by 63 points over Leclerc. That's over two race's worth of points.
Gasly ended the race in P12 with Albon, Bottas and Schumacher completing the classified finishers. Zhou, Latifi, Magnussen, Leclerc and Tsunoda all retired from the 53 lap race.
Norris comes home in seventh ahead Ocon's Alpine, with the second McLaren of Ricciardo in ninth. The Aston Martins of Stroll and Vettel put on a show on the final lap. There was even light contact at the final corner, but Stroll hangs on to the final points paying position.
Sainz has to settle for fifth place, 11.5s behind Perez, as Alonso takes sixth place for Alpine.
Verstappen wins the French GP! He leads home Hamilton in second place, as Russell fends off Perez at the final corner for third place!
Russell defends from Perez into the chicane, so that's one key overtaking spot out of the way, can he make it to the finish?
"Russell went out of the track at Turn 6," Perez says over team radio as he closes in on his rival. This one is going to the finish!
Whatever the reason, it has handed Russell a podium place if he can hang on for the final two laps. But Perez is within DRS range.
Perez and Russell appeared to be racing even before the virtual safety car period ended, which took longer than expected, and the pair then backed off before the green flags were shown. Odd.
Perez is caught napping at the virtual safety car restart and Russell bolts by into Turn 14!
We are back racing on lap 51/53.
Zhou's Alfa Romeo is being wheeled behind the barriers. We could get back going very soon here.
Zhou has stopped on the circuit run off at Turn 5. Virtual safety car deployed.
Sainz is two seconds per lap faster than Perez and Russell up the road but he's going to run out of laps to catch them as things stand. "I don't understand," Sainz says about Ferrari's strategy. He's not the only one.
Ocon has jumped Ricciardo for P8. The Alpine driver had been stalking the Australian's McLaren for many laps. He has finally got the move done.
Russell has duly got his head down and is back on the rear of Perez again with five laps to go. It is a fight for the final spot on the podium with Sainz 21s back in fifth.
A charging Sainz now passes Alonso for fifth!
Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Leclerc has called his crash out of the lead of this race his mistake. So that clears up any suspected car trouble.
Meanwhile, Latifi is now joined the list of retirements that includes Magnussen, Leclerc and Tsunoda.
Sainz has now managed to recover to P6 as he gets ahead of Lando Norris.  What can Sainz do from here in the time left?
While that's all been going on, Verstappen has pushed his lead to 9.6s over Hamilton, who in turn is 7.6s up the road on Perez.
"George keep your head down, you can hunt him down on track," Russell is told over team radio by Toto Wolff. Blimey.
Sainz, on the fresh medium tyres, is now up to seventh after quickly dispatching Ocon and Ricciardo. Sainz will be on a charge in these final eight laps.
This race has come alive, as Russell is now arguing with his own team about if he had that corner and deserves the place back from his fight with Perez.
Sainz is then called in to pit a later after overtaking Perez and comes out in ninth place. What's going on there?
Russell joins the mix and dives down the inside of Perez at the entry to the chicane, making minor contact with the Mexican, who takes to the runoff and keep the position. Russell orders him to give up the place but it isn't coming.
All while that track action was happening Sainz was being told to pit by Ferrari. Were they watching what was happening!
Ignore that! Sainz goes on the attack, getting alongside Perez at Turn 10 before being run out of room, but at the final corner he gets the move done up the inside!