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    French Grand Prix: Did Mercedes lose it or Red Bull win it?

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    This Formula 1 season just keeps on delivering, after Max Verstappen took a brilliant victory in a French Grand Prix that left Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes ruing a costly error.

    Did Mercedes lose the race or Verstappen tear it from their grasp? In truth, it was a bit of both, as a see-saw sequence of events flipped the advantage back and forth between the two title rivals at Paul Ricard.

    Verstappen started the race in front, but handed the lead to Hamilton with a mistake at the first corner. Mercedes gave it back to him with a pit-stop strategy error, on which Verstappen capitalised with two brilliant laps around the pit stop.

    Once in the lead, Red Bull chose to surrender it with what team principal Christian Horner described as a “ballsy call” and ask Verstappen to recover 18 seconds in 20 laps. He passed Hamilton with a lap and a half to go to take a win that underlines yet again the seriousness of the threat Mercedes face from a resurgent Red Bull this year, and moves the Dutchman into a 12-point championship lead.

    “This is a tough one this year,” Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said afterwards.

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