Lewis Hamilton victorious at Formula 1 Ooredoo Qatar Grand Prix 2021
With a dominant victory in the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday, Lewis Hamilton moved closer to the Formula One championship lead, earning back-to-back victories and chipping away at Max Verstappen's points lead.
Marking his second consecutive win, Hamilton has trimmed 17 points from Verstappen’s lead in the title race in a week. With two races remaining, Verstappen still leads by eight points in one of the most exciting F1 championship battles in at least a decade.
Starting from the pole for Mercedes, the seven-time champion could not be beat at the Losail International Circuit and was able to win his 102nd career race.
Verstappen was penalized five positions on the starting line before the race even started due to a yellow flag violation in qualifying on Saturday.
After hearings for Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas, and Carlos Sainz on Sunday, the stewards ordered the Dutchman to drop back to second place on the grid.
Near the end of qualifying, all three were accused of breaking yellow flag rules. Bottas, who finished third in qualifying, was docked three starting sports. Sainz, on the other hand, was not penalized.
The grid penalty for Verstappen perplexed Red Bull, since he lost any opportunity of challenging Hamilton for the win when he was penalized.
Verstappen did not see the yellow flag when it was displayed late in qualifying for Pierre Gasly's punctured tire, according to Red Bull principal Christian Horner.
Despite the penalty, Verstappen merely needed five laps to recover and return to his original starting position. However, he was still 25 seconds behind Hamilton in second place.
Alpine's Fernando Alonso finished third, his first podium since 2014. He was helped by Verstappen and Bottas' pre-race penalties, which put the Spaniard up to third on the starting grid.
Sergio Perez finished fourth, assisting Red Bull in its bid to beat Mercedes for the constructors' championship.
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Cover & Source: The Peninsula