Formula 1: Max Verstappen wins French Grand Prix as Charles Leclerc crashes out

Max Verstappen now has a 63-point lead over Charles Leclerc after winning the French Grand Prix.

Verstappen took the checkered flag 10 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton after Leclerc crashed out of the race from the lead before his first pit stop. Leclerc had held off Verstappen over the race’s opening laps and Verstappen pitted first.

Ferrari kept Leclerc on the track but he then spun while leading two laps after Verstappen had pitted. Leclerc’s crash brought out a safety car and allowed Verstappen to take the lead after the cars that were running ahead of him hit pit lane.

Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz finished fifth behind George Russell and Sergio Perez after starting 20th because he had to take a new engine. That fresh engine helped Sainz drive through the field and he even passed Perez for third on track in the last 15 laps of the race. But Sainz was on worn medium tires and Ferrari called him in for a second pit stop. He also had to serve a five-second penalty on the pit stop for an unsafe release from his first pit stop under the caution.

Verstappen has 233 points through the first 12 races of the season while Leclerc is still at 170 points. Perez is now seven points behind Leclerc in the standings after scoring 12 for his fourth-place run. Russell grabbed third from Perez with just over three laps to go right after the conclusion of a virtual safety car for Zhou Guanyu’s stalled car.

This article originally appeared on Yahoo Sports at