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F1 title race hots up as Lewis Hamilton wins Qatar GP

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Lewis Hamilton won the Qatar Grand Prix to cut Max Verstappen’s world championship lead to just eight points on Sunday.

The seven-time world champion comfortably held off his arch rival’s Red Bull under the Losail circuit’s lights leaving the battle for the 2021 crown delicately poised with only two races remaining.

Lewis Hamilton wins Qatar GP

After a superb drive, Fernando Alonso took third for Alpine, the former world champion’s first podium since 2014.

Hamilton could not have envisioned his race panning out any better than it did, outside of his opponent limiting the damage to championship hopes with a second place.

Verstappen’s wins in the USA and Mexico, had given Hamilton’s hopes of a record-breaking eighth world title a blow but the 36-year-old Briton now has all the momentum.

“We needed those points today. I can’t wait to watch the race replay to find out what happened behind me,” Hamilton said after his 102nd career win.

“I’m really grateful for these points, it’s been a hell of a year. Back-to-back wins here, feel good, I feel fit, fitter than I’ve ever felt. Bring on the next two!”

Verstappen, who had been demoted from second to seventh on the grid for a yellow flag infringement in qualifying on Saturday, raced back to second, and picked up a point for the fastest lap.

“Our starting position was compromised, but luckily we had a really good start,” he said.

“Of course, I know it’s going to be difficult to the end but it keeps it nice, keeps it exciting. This track was fun to drive as well. I feel good, but it’s going to be a tight battle to the end.”

Hamilton is expected to have the upper hand at the ultra-quick new circuit in Saudi Arabia in a fortnight’s time ahead of the season-closing race in Abu Dhabi in mid-December.

Ogasaswap Cross Chain Dex

Qatar GP results

POS
NO
DRIVER
CAR
LAPS
TIME/RETIRED
PTS

1
44
Lewis Hamilton
MERCEDES
57
1:24:28.471
25

2
33
Max Verstappen
RED BULL RACING HONDA
57
+25.743s
19

3
14
Fernando Alonso
ALPINE RENAULT
57
+59.457s
15

4
11
Sergio Perez
RED BULL RACING HONDA
57
+62.306s
12

5
31
Esteban Ocon
ALPINE RENAULT
57
+80.570s
10

6
18
Lance Stroll
ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES
57
+81.274s
8

7
55
Carlos Sainz
FERRARI
57
+81.911s
6

8
16
Charles Leclerc
FERRARI
57
+83.126s
4

9
4
Lando Norris
MCLAREN MERCEDES
56
+1 lap
2

10
5
Sebastian Vettel
ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES
56
+1 lap
1

11
10
Pierre Gasly
ALPHATAURI HONDA
56
+1 lap
0

12
3
Daniel Ricciardo
MCLAREN MERCEDES
56
+1 lap
0

13
22
Yuki Tsunoda
ALPHATAURI HONDA
56
+1 lap
0

14
7
Kimi Räikkönen
ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI
56
+1 lap
0

15
99
Antonio Giovinazzi
ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI
56
+1 lap
0

16
47
Mick Schumacher
HAAS FERRARI
56
+1 lap
0

17
63
George Russell
WILLIAMS MERCEDES
55
+2 laps
0

18
9
Nikita Mazepin
HAAS FERRARI
55
+2 laps
0

NC
6
Nicholas Latifi
WILLIAMS MERCEDES
50
DNF
0

NC
77
Valtteri Bottas
MERCEDES
48
DNF
0

Hamilton wins Qatar GP

* Provisional results. Note – Verstappen scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.

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