LEWIS HAMILTON was denied a crucial victory in the French Grand Prix as Championship leader Max Verstappen overtook him with just two laps to go.
In the end it all came down to strategy – and it was Red Bull and their Belgian driver who were left celebrating.
Christian Horner and his team opted for a two-stop pit strategy, with rivals Mercedes opting for one.
In the end it worked a treat as Verstappen's cleaners tyres allowed him to chase down Hamilton and take the chequered flag.
It is three Red Bull wins in a row now, with Verstappen extending his lead at the top of the diver's Championship to 12.
Perez bagged the final podium spot, with Valtteri Bottas in fourth, Lando Norris fifth and Daniel Ricciardo sixth.
Hamilton made the perfect start to the race when he overtook pole-setter Verstappen instantly.
But then followed a real ding-dong battle that went down to when the teams decided to pit.
Both drivers complained about their tyres at various points in the race – but it was Verstappen's radio that caused him the biggest issues.
At one point he was even told to adjust his headset – but the problem seemed deeper than that.
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Nine laps before the end Verstappen overtook Bottas to take second and provide a real threat to Hamilton's dominance.
And the chase was ultimately successful as Verstappen took the chequered flag with a second-to-last lap overtake.
He made up three seconds inside the final five laps to beat him
Speaking after the race, Brit Hamilton said: "Congratulations to Max, he did a great job.
"I am happy with the result, unfortunately I lost the position but it was still a great race.
"We have got to dig deep and find some pace."
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