It would have been a lights-to-flag victory for Hamilton had he not made his pit stop one lap before Kimi Raikkonen, who hit the front for a single lap. Hamilton didn’t take the fastest lap en route to his third grand prix victory of 2018 either: that went to Valtteri Bottas, for the third time this year.
Consistency is the name of the game for Hamilton at the moment. This was a record-extending 33rd points finish in a row for him.
This also means he has equalled Nick Heidfeld’s record of finishing in 33 races in a row, which Heidfeld did between the 2007 Chinese and 2009 Italian Grands Prix.
Hamilton’s latest victory means he has now won at all 21 venues on this year’s F1 calendar. Out of his rivals, Sebastian Vettel is closest to matching this feat:
Hamilton has also set a new record for most wins in different grands prix. The French Grand Prix is the 23rd different event he has won, one more than Michael Schumacher.
Raikkonen, meanwhile, broke Alain Prost’s record for the most circuits at which he has taken a podium finish. Paul Ricard is the 30th different track where Raikkonen finished on the podium. Hamilton tied Prost on 29 at the last race, so this record could also fall to him eventually.
For Raikkonen, this was also the 25th podium finish since his last race victory. The next-longest win-less podium streak belongs to Jean Alesi, with 16.
Having lost the championship lead to Vettel in Canada, Hamilton regained it immediately in France. This is the first time in four years the championship lead has changed hands in two consecutive races: Hamilton took the points lead off Nico Rosberg at the 2014 Spanish Grand Prix but lost it again at the next round.
Fernando Alonso scored points each of the first five races but has missed out in all of the three since then. However he retained his perfect qualifying record against team mate Stoffel Vandoorne.
Carlos Sainz Jnr became the second driver from outside the ‘big three’ teams to run inside the top three positions during a race this year. The other was Sergio Perez when he finished on the podium in Baku.
France’s three F1 drivers were all involved in collisions on the first lap of their home race. Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon retired on the spot, while Romain Grosjean made it to the finish. These three drivers have completed the fewest racing laps so far this year, with Gasly bottom on 322 out of a possible 487.
Finally, Paul Ricard returned to the F1 calendar 28 years after its last race. This is one of the longest intervals between world championship races at the same venue. In 2007 F1 returned to the Fuji circuit in Japan following a 30-year break.
This is outstripped by Indianapolis, which had a 40-years break between its races in 1960 and 2000. However its 1960 race was the Indianapolis 500, when it counted towards the F1 world championship, which was not run to Formula 1 rules.