Qatar Grand Prix


Hunter Whitt

Lewis Hamilton closed the gap to rival Max Verstappen following a victory at the Qatar Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit. Verstappen was dropped from second to seventh at the start of the race following a penalty in qualifying.
Verstappen jumped to fourth at the start, then made his way up to second, limiting his point loss to keep Hamilton from getting his title. The real struggle was for Hamilton’s teammate, Perez, and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, who were trying for the last podium spot until the end. Up at the front, Hamilton and Verstappen were in their own race, and Hamilton stretched his lead out to 7 seconds ahead of his rival. By Lap 29, Hamilton was 7s ahead of Verstappen, Bottas third, then Perez, and then Alonso. Bottas had a puncture, and after he pitted he was 14th as Perez took P3. Verstappen had a very comfortable position in 2nd with 50s ahead of Perez in 3rd. Perez pitted on Lap 41, coming out in 7th while Alonso took his podium position. Perez went through to P4 by Lap 47. The podium standings stayed the same for the rest of the race. The real race is for Hamilton and Verstappen, with Hamilton closing in on him.
“We needed those points today. I can’t wait to watch the race replay to find out what happened behind me. I’m really grateful for these points, it’s been a hell of a year. Back to back wins here, feel good, I feel fit, fitter than I’ve ever felt. Bring on the next two!” – Lewis Hamilton