Vettel penalised after colliding with Bottas in French GP

Saturday's qualifying session resulted in the four-time world champion's 75th career pole position, furthering the gap to second-place on the all-time list Michael Schumacher.

"Engine performance has never been a problem for us", Hamilton said. "Mistakes happen in life, it happens to the best of us as you can see today so to be honest, it just makes me angry".

"I am so grateful to my guys for a solid weekend".

Dutch 20-year-old Max Verstappen took the chequered flag in second with Kimi Raikkonen passing Vettel and completing the podium for Ferrari.

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari was fifth ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne in the second McLaren and Frenchman Pierre Gasly of Toro Rosso.

A late virtual safety vehicle as Lance Stroll suffered a tyre blowout shortly after Sainz's issue surfaced helped him to stay ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Bottas, Carlos Sainz (Renault), Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) and Charles Leclerc (Sauber) finished out the points.

Vettel got a five second time penalty for causing a collision.

"My start was too good and I ended up with nowhere to go. I tried to brake early and had no room".

"The headline has been the new power unit, which has been a massive effort from all the team in Brixworth...and that work is starting to pay off", said team boss Toto Wolff.

Bottas, less effective in his efforts to recover in a vehicle that suffered floor and other damage, was down in 10th.

Germany's Vettel was a point clear of Bottas's team mate Lewis Hamilton going into the first French race in a decade.

After banging wheels with Hamilton in Azerbaijan previous year, crashing out at Singapore, tangling with Hamilton and Verstappen at the start in Mexico, and running off the road in Baku in April, Vettel was left to rue another costly error.

On seeing a video recording of the incident, he said: "He took him right out -- ah, man, that's insane".

It has not won since Hamilton's triumph at the Spanish Grand Prix, but non-executive chairman Niki Lauda believes it is now back on the right track, though he is wary of the impact of the weather.

The four-time World Champion said that after a couple of poor weekends, he was glad to have the team behind him. "He really destroyed the whole race for himself and for Bottas".

Hamilton has 145 points after eight races. I enjoyed the race.

"I used to get to my summer or winter break and the first thing I'd do when I arrived in the morning was have a stack of pancakes", Hamilton told CNN last November.

Raikkonen said he was "a bit blocked with all the mayhem" at the start, but made a decent recovery.

"I trust the team, and if we have to use the older-specification engine, I am not anxious".

Both drivers continued on, with Vettel recovering to fifth while Bottas came home seventh.

"We were going side by side to the braking zone".

  • Angelo Rivera