Hamilton dominates Qatar, sets tense race for title


SEVEN times world champion Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish at the Qatar Grand Prix, setting the scene for a tense fight to the finish with rival Max Verstappen for the world title.

Hamilton, who started on pole, was quickest in the desert and was not threatened, at any stage, by Verstappen, who started the race in 7th, after taking a five grid penalty.

The British driver also set a record for 102 pole positions and 102 F1 wins.

The difference between Verstappen, leader of the race for the world title, has now been reduced to eight points with two races to go.

Verstappen and Red Bull could not match Hamilton and Mercedes’ pace in the afternoon and strategic manoeuvres did not help. When Red Bull attempted an undercut, Mercedes responded immediately, with Hamilton coming out of the pits a comfortable 9 seconds ahead of Verstappen.

The driver of the race was Alpine’s Fernando Alonso who drove like a true talented veteran to earn his first podium in seven years. His last podium was in ​​2014 at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Red Bull Sergio Perez drove a good race and ran out of laps in his chase for the last podium position. He could not catch Alonso and had to settle for fourth place, whichwas a decent recovery considering he’d started in 11th position.

Esteban Ocon came home in 5th position, crowning a good day for Alpine, with Lance Stroll, driving in an Aston Martin, finishing behind him in 6th.

Ferrari once again had to be content with being a mid-table team. Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finished in 7th and 8th respectively. 

McLaren’s Lando Norris took the 9th position, ahead of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, who won the final points by coming home in the 10th position.

Tyre issues forced the retirement of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, Williams’ George Russell and Nicholas Latifi.

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