Lewis Hamilton has won the first French Grand Prix since 2008 with a dominant victory.
The Mercedes driver led from start to finish other than one lap around his pit stop to move 14 points ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who finished fifth.
Vettel made life difficult for himself with a collision at the first corner with Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
The German fought back through the field impressively but earned a five-second penalty for causing the crash, which put both to the back of the field.
It was a costly error for Vettel, who was one point ahead of Hamilton before the race, and not the first one he has made this year that has cost him ground in the championship.
The German’s comeback was impressive but fifth would have been as much as he might have expected, while Verstappen put in another very solid performance to take his second podium in a row and his third in four races.
“Great work guys I am so happy for England,” said Hamilton. “It’s a beautiful Sunday.”
It is Hamilton’s first win at the French Grand Prix, having competed at Magny-Cours twice before in 2007 and 2008, the last time the race was held. This 65th career win will be hugely satisfying coming as it did, after the setback he received in losing his championship lead to Vettel, when the German’s win and Hamilton’s fifth place at the last round in Canada, saw a 15-point swing in Vettel’s favour.
The win is Hamilton’s third of the season, putting him once again equal with Vettel in victories and, in taking the lead in the title race once more, it is the fourth time in eight races it has changed hands between the pair.