Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has won the Qatar Grand Prix in his first attempt to cut Max Verstappen’s lead atop the championship standings to eight points with only two races left in the season.
Hamilton came into his first-ever Qatar Grand Prix on the back of a spectacular performance in the Brazil Grand Prix last weekend, looking to further narrow the gap to championship leader Verstappen of Red Bull Racing.
Hamilton got the pole position during qualifying, while Verstappen got a five-place grid penalty for failing to obey a yellow flag and had to start the race in seventh place.
Hamilton completed one of his easiest wins of the season in the Qatar Grand Prix as Verstappen had to spend a lot of his time playing catch-up. By the end of the first lap, the Dutchman had reached fourth place, and was second by the fifth lap. Verstappen was unable to overtake Hamilton and had to settle for a second-place finish in Qatar.
Hamilton became the first man to win in 30 different F1 circuits in the history of Formula One as he chases a record eighth championship.
40-year-old Fernando Alonso secured a first podium finish since the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2014, after two years away from the championship for the Spaniard. Alonso was named as the driver of the day after a superb performance from the veteran.
Verstappen and Hamilton will turn their attention to the final two races of the season after the Qatar Grand Prix with only eight points separating them in first and second place, respectively. Verstappen currently has 351.5 points, while Hamilton has 343.5 points. The drivers will have a deserved rest after three consecutive races before resuming for the finale.
The next race will be on December 5th at the refurbished Saudi Arabia circuit for the Saudi Grand Prix, after which they will face off for the final time at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix a week later on December 12th.