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

LOSAIL, Qatar — Lewis Hamilton inched nearer to the Components One championship direct with a dominating victory Sunday in the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix to gain back again-to-back again wins and chip away at Max Verstappen’s points advantage.

Hamilton, who also received very last 7 days in Brazil, has trimmed 17 details from Verstappen’s guide in the title race in a week. Verstappen still holds an 8-level direct with two races remaining in one of the most spectacular F1 title fights in at least a ten years.

“I’m seriously, really grateful for these factors. It can be been a hell of a year,” Hamilton stated. “To be at this place in the year and have back again-to-back wins is a great experience.”

The 7-time champion started off from pole for Mercedes and was never challenged on the Losail Worldwide Circuit as Hamilton received his 102nd career race. It was his seventh victory of the period.

Verstappen finished next for Purple Bull, approximately 25 seconds behind Hamilton.

“It was quite lonely at the entrance,” Hamilton reported.

Verstappen was strike with a penalty before the race even commenced when he was dropped five places on the starting grid for violating a yellow flag in Saturday’s qualifying. The Dutchman experienced capable second but the stewards ordered him to fall again on the grid adhering to Sunday hearings for Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz.

All a few have been accused of not next yellow flag rules near the conclude of qualifying. Bottas, who experienced certified 3rd, was penalized three starting up sports activities. Sainz was not penalized.

Red Bull was mystified by the grid penalty for Verstappen, who misplaced any probability to obstacle Hamilton for the gain when he was penalized. Crimson Bull principal Christian Horner criticized the penalty when it was handed down.

“We’re truly having difficulties to comprehend it,” Horner stated. “That’s a essential blow in this planet championship for us.”

Irrespective of the penalty, Verstappen needed only 5 laps to recover and drive back to where he was initially slated to get started.

“Our starting placement was a bit compromised,” Verstappen said. “I know it truly is likely to be tricky to the finish but I assume which is pleasant. It keeps it remarkable.”

But he mentioned he was prepared for the difficulties forward in Saudi Arabia and the finale in Abu Dhabi.

“I sense excellent,” he stated. “It’s likely to be limited.”

Hamilton, winner of 4 straight titles, has all the momentum now. The British driver is trying to get a document eighth F1 title, which would transfer him earlier Michael Schumacher.

“I’m sensation truly fantastic, I am definitely, seriously content with the vehicle,” Hamilton said. “I truly feel fitter than ever, so that’s a favourable.”

Fernando Alonso of Alpine completed 3rd for his initially podium given that 2014. He was aided by the pre-race penalties to Verstappen and Bottas, which moved the Spaniard up to 3rd on the setting up grid.

Sergio Perez completed fourth to enable Pink Bull in its force to defeat Mercedes for the constructors championship.

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