Rain threatened and so did Mercedes, however it was Max Verstappen and Red Bull who came out on top in a dry French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard.
For Red Bull this was it’s first hat-trick of wins in the turbo hybrid era and only it’s second double podium since the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix. For power unit supplier Honda the wait for a hat-trick of wins was even longer – over 30 years since Ayrton Senna won the opening four rounds of the 1991 season for McLaren. This was Red Bull’s 68th win and the 191st time it’s had a driver on the podium.
Max Verstappen has now won an F1 race for the 13th time and is now equal to David Coulthard and Alberto Ascari on the all-time winners list. Verstappen also scored the first in race hat-trick of his career and he is still yet to spend a single race lap outside the top four in 2021. The Dutchman also now leads the driver’s championship by 12 points from Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen also scored his 13th career fastest lap and led an F1 race for the 30th time.
The other Red Bull driver, Sergio Perez scored the 12th podium of his career and helped the team to extend it’s lead over Mercedes in the constructor’s championship to 37 points. Perez also stood on the podium exactly 50 years to the day since fellow Mexican driver Pedro Rodriguez scored his final F1 podium – in the 1971 Dutch Grand Prix.
McLaren extended it’s points scoring run to 14 races with another double points finish – it’s sixth out of seven races so far in 2021. Lando Norris remains the only driver on the grid to have scored points in every round of the season.
It was more joy for Aston Martin, which scored it’s second double points finish of the season and fifth points finish in a row thanks to Sebastian Vettel. Meanwhile midfield rival Alpha Tauri extended it’s points scoring run to 10 races in succession.
It was a nightmare race for Ferrari which dropped from fifth and seventh on the grid to a lacklustre 11th for Carlos Sainz and 16th for Charles Leclerc in the race. Leclerc scored his worst result in a race at which he was running on track at the end since he finished the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix in 19th and last for Sauber.
Williams had more to cheer about after George Russell finished a strong 12th place and has led the team back above Haas in the constructor’s championship. Williams and Haas are the only two teams to have scored no points so far in 2021.
This was also the first race to feature no retirements since the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix, which coincidently Verstappen also won. This is the 10th time in F1 history that such an event has occurred.