Lewis Hamilton wins the first Qatar F1 Grand Prix | Motorsport News

Winning the defending championship back to back is within eight points of Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton won pole position at the first Qatar Formula One Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen recovered well from the starting penalty and finished second, but on Sunday Hamilton narrowed his Formula One championship lead to 8 points.

Defending champion and seven-time champion Hamilton’s back-to-back victories in Brazil and Qatar gave him an eight-point lead in the remaining two games.

Hamilton won his 7th season victory and 102nd overall at the Losell International Circuit under the floodlights, leading Verstappen, where his Mercedes had already won in qualifying. Red Bull at Verstappen.

“We need these points today. I can’t wait to watch a replay of the game and see what happens behind me,” he said.

“I’m really grateful for these points, it’s been a hellish year. Back to back wins. I feel good, I feel healthy, healthier than ever. Bring the next two,” Hamilton added.

Hamilton crossed the finish line to win the Qatar Grand Prix [Hamad I Mohammed/Pool/Reuters]

Verstappen scored extra points for the fastest lap and was fined five places on the grid early Sunday. Bottas lost three points shortly before the start because the steward ruled that both of them ignored the yellow flag in qualifying. Reduced Verstappen from second to seventh, while Bottas, who did not finish, went from third to sixth.

“Our starting position was affected, but fortunately we had a very good start,” Verstappen said.

“Of course, I know it will be difficult, but it will stay in good shape and stay exciting. This track is also very interesting. I feel good, but it will be a fierce battle to the end.”

The double world champion Fernando Alonso won third place in the Alpine owned by Renault. The 40-year-old Spaniard has won the podium for the first time since 2014.

Sergio Perez finished fourth and helped Red Bull beat Mercedes to win the constructors’ championship.

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