Hamilton wins Qatar GP as Alonso returns to F1 podium


Lewis Hamilton took a dominant win at the inaugural F1 Qatar GP, to cut into Max Verstappen’s championship lead. Fernando Alonso finished third for Alpine, securing his first podium since his F1 return.

  • Hamilton wins, 25.743 secs from Verstappen
  • Alonso on podium for first time since 2014
  • Multiple drivers suffer punctures

Hamilton closes title gap to Verstappen

Leading the race from pole position, Hamilton controlled the pace out at front to cruise to victory. The reigning world champion is on a charge to recover lost championship ground to Verstappen and this is his second consecutive win following his Brazil GP triumph last week. With this, he’s also become the first F1 driver to win at 30 different circuits.

“We needed those points today,” Hamilton admitted after the race. “I can't wait to watch the race replay to find out what happened behind me. 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 had to focus on damage limitation after being dropped to seventh on the starting grip for failing to slow down for double waved yellow flags in qualifying. He jumped to fourth at the start itself and it wasn’t long before he passed Pierre Gasly and Alonso to move up to second place.

While he couldn’t quite capture the race win, he did bag the one additional point for setting the fastest lap. With just two more races to go, every point could prove to be crucial.

Alonso nurses tyres for podium return

Tyres proved to be a major talking point of the race as Valtteri Bottas, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi all suffered front-left punctures. McLaren also pitted Lando Norris later in the race due to a suspected puncture.

The pressure was on Alonso to nurse his tyres and he adopted an aggressive one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez. Luck was on the Spaniard’s side as the virtual safety car was activated as Latifi stopped at the Turn 6 hairpin. This helped Alonso hold on to third place, as he scored his first podium result since the 2014 Hungarian GP.

Perez climbed from P11 to fourth, while Esteban Ocon finished fifth to help Alpine move 25 points clear of closest rivals AlphaTauri in the standings. Lance Stroll took sixth place for Aston Martin, followed by the Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

Norris was ninth after his late pitstop, while Sebastian Vettel recovered from a poor start to finish 10th.

2021 F1 drivers’ championship standings

Verstappen’s championship lead has now been slashed from 14 to eight points. There are just two more rounds to go and the title battle is only getting tighter. Up next is the first-ever Saudi Arabian GP on December 5.

2021 Qatar GP results

2021 Qatar GP results
Pos Driver Team
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing
3 Fernando Alonso Alpine
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing
5 Esteban Ocon Alpine
6 Lance Stroll Aston Martin
7 Carlos Sainz Ferrari
8 Charles Leclerc Ferrari
9 Lando Norris McLaren
10 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri
12 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren
13 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo
16 Mick Schumacher Haas
17 George Russell Williams
18 Nikita Mazepin Haas
NC Nicholas Latifi Williams
NC Valtteri Bottas Mercedes

Also see:

Lewis Hamilton on F1 title fight, motivation and more - Interview

Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)
To Top