With HH The Amir in attendance, world champion Verstappen lifts Qatar F1 GP trophy

With HH The Amir in attendance, world champion Verstappen lifts Qatar F1 GP trophy

QLNews
By QLNews

Red Bull’s Belgian-Dutch driver Max Verstappen, who earlier won the driver’s world title in Qatar, followed up on his searing form by triumphing at the Formula 1 Qatar Airways Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday.

The 26-year-old, who started the race on pole, was comfortably ahead of the rest of the field as he took his season’s 14th title in 1hr 27mins 39.168sec at the Lusail International Circuit.

He was simply unstoppable and finished 4.838 seconds clear of McLaren’s Australian driver Oscar Piastri and British team-mate Lando Norris (+5.969).

With HH The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in attendance, Verstappen received his winner’s trophy from Qatar Olympic Committee President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani.

While Qatar’s sports minister HE Salah bin Ghanim Al Ali awarded Oscar Piastri, Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation President Abdulrahman bin Abdullatif Al Mannai handed over the trophy to Lando Norris.

A slew of top officials and other celebrities, including Qatar’s Olympic and three-time world champion high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim, English football legend David Beckham and former Brazilian football star Ronaldinho, also attended.

Verstappen, whose title in Qatar was his 49th career race win, was thrilled.

“What made the race was my first stint. After that, I could just manage my pace, making sure the tyres were always in a good window. But the McLarens were quick again and I had to push for it. It was definitely a tough race out there,” he told local media, after the win.

Earlier, Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton, who won the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix in 2021, crashed out of the race after colliding with his team-mate George Russell at the first corner.

While Hamilton spun out of the race, Russell recovered to make a pit stop and eventually finish fourth in the race.

“I’ve watched the replay and it was 100 per cent my fault and I take full responsibility. Apologies to my team and to George,” seven-time champion Hamilton later wrote on X.

Rookie Piastri, who unexpectedly won the sprint title on Saturday, continued his dream run in Qatar with a second-place finish.

“It was probably the hardest race I’ve ever had in my life,” Pisastri told his team after the finish.

Safety concerns over tyres meant drivers were banned from using the same tyres for more than 18 laps. It meant a minimum of three pit stops in the 57-lap race, so strategy played a prominent role.

Piastri likened the race to ‘57 qualifying laps’ since the frequent stops meant there was no need for drivers to ease off and prevent tyre wear.

Following the race, global superstar DJ Snake performed at the Lusail International Circuit, bringing down the curtains on a perfect evening of speed and thrill.

The Formula One show will now move to Austin, Texas for the season’s 19th Race.

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