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Hamilton tops French GP practice as Perez loses wheel

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was in good form as he set a blistering pace in second practice at the French Grand Prix.

By SportBrief Reporter

The world champion was a massive 0.704 seconds quicker than his closest rival, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton’s title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari was only fifth fastest, 1.150secs adrift of Hamilton.

The session included a 10-minute red flag period, caused when Sergio Perez’s Force India lost a wheel, which potentially distorted the picture.

The team will investigate how the wheel became detached at around 170mph on the Mistral straight, violently pitching the car into and 180-degree spin.

The delay meant drivers made their qualifying simulation runs at different times, when the track conditions may have been different.

Hamilton heads into the weekend one point behind Vettel in the championship and with an upgraded Mercedes engine which contains both performance and reliability improvements.

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