Lewis Hamilton wins the Qatar Grand Prix, cutting Verstappen’s points lead


Los Angeles, Qatar – Lewis Hamilton approached the lead of the Formula One Championship with an overwhelming victory at the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday, winning back-to-back victories and eliminating Max Verstappen’s points advantage.

Hamilton, who won the championship in Brazil last week, lost 17 points to Verstappen’s lead in the championship within a week. Verstappen still maintains an eight-point lead, with two games left. This is one of the most high-profile F1 championship races in at least a decade.

“I really appreciate these points. This has been a hellish year,” Hamilton said. “It’s a great feeling to win consecutively at this time of the year.”

The seven-time champion Mercedes started from pole position and Hamilton won the 102nd race of his career, so he has never been challenged on the Losell International Circuit. This is his seventh victory of the season.

Verstappen finished second for Red Bull, nearly 25 seconds behind Hamilton.

“It’s lonely in front,” Hamilton said.

Verstappen was penalized before the start of the game. He lost five positions on the starting line for violating the yellow flag in Saturday’s qualifying match. The Dutch qualified second, but after Sunday’s hearings with Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz, the butler ordered him to return to the grid.

All three were accused of failing to abide by the yellow flag rules towards the end of qualifying. Bottas, who finished third, was punished in three starting sports. Sainz was not punished.

Red Bull was puzzled by Verstappen’s starting penalty, and Verstappen lost the opportunity to challenge Hamilton to win the championship when he was fined. Red Bull principal Christian Horner criticized the kick when he was penalized.

“It’s really hard for us to understand it,” Horner said. “This is a key blow for us at this World Championships.”

Despite being punished, Verstappen only needed 5 laps to recover and drive back to the original starting position.

“Our starting position is a bit compromised,” Verstappen said. “I know it will be difficult, but I think it’s good. It keeps people excited.”

But he said that he is ready to meet the challenge of Saudi Arabia and the final in Abu Dhabi.

“I feel good,” he said. “It will be tight.”

Hamilton, who won four consecutive championships, now has all the motivation. The British driver is seeking a record eighth F1 championship title, which will allow him to surpass Michael Schumacher.

“I feel very good, I am really satisfied with this car,” Hamilton said. “I feel healthier than ever, so this is positive.”

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso was on the podium for the first time since 2014, finishing third. His punishment of Verstappen and Bottas before the game helped him, which brought the Spaniard to third place on the grid.

Sergio Perez finished fourth and helped Red Bull beat Mercedes to win the constructors’ championship.

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