The F1 title race came to a close when Lewis Hamilton took advantage of Max Verstapen’s penalty and a “unique” blowout raft.
Lewis Hamilton won Monday’s inaugural Qatar Grand Prix, commanding a pole to extend Max Verstappen’s World Championship lead to eight points and set an exciting end to this unforgettable F1 season.
Seven-time champion Mercedes stopped its arch-Dutch rival Red Bull comfortably under the lights of the Losell circuit with two races left to leave the fight for the F1 driver’s crown.
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A week after his toughest and biggest win in Brazil, Hamilton enjoyed one of his easiest.
And after Verstappen’s victories in the United States and Mexico, an unprecedented eighth world title seemed to slip out of his grip, a momentum that the 36-year-old Britt has more than 12-year-old hypocrisy.
“I can’t wait to see the race replay to find out what happened to me,” he said after the 102nd victory of his career.
“It was very lonely before – of course I enjoy the races where you are fighting but we need those points today.
“It simply came to our notice then. Here back-to-back wins, I feel better, I feel fitter, fitter than I felt. Bring another two! ”
Versatapen A, who dropped from second to seventh in the grid Yellow flag violation in Sunday’s election, Took the second, and picked up a point for the fastest lap.
“We had an agreement at the start, but fortunately we got off to a really good start,” he said.
“Of course, I know it will be tough in the end but it keeps it good, it keeps it exciting. It was fun to run the track too. I feel good, but it will be a tough fight to the end.
Hamilton’s fast engine, which was installed in Sao Paulo at the end of last year, will give the Red Bull another hard time in Saudi Arabia’s ultra-fast new circuit, a fortnight before the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi in mid-December.
Fernando Alonso took third for the Alpine, the first podium of the two-time world champion since 2014. The 40-year-old Grizzly is getting great enthusiasm from the crowd.
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However, it was a difficult day for McLaren. Daniel Ricardo was never on the hunt and reached the 12th, while Lando Norris suffered a tire puncture that ruined his run when he slipped from fourth to cross the ninth.
Norris was one of four drivers who suffered punctures in his front-left tires late in the race, as did Valteri Bottas (DNF), George Russell (17th) and Nicholas Latifi (DNF).
“I don’t think you expect tires to fly, especially on hard tires,” Norris said.
“We weren’t that far, 20 laps or something, and the tires had to do more than 20 laps.
“On every track, you take care of the tires because the tires get a little bit damaged but you don’t expect it to go away completely all of a sudden.
“(It) was very dangerous for a lot of people today. That shouldn’t happen.”
“It just doesn’t have to be this way. If there’s a wall or something, it can be very dangerous.
“They have to make the tires better. This is dangerous for us as drivers. We take a lot of risk every time and if we can’t drive a Formula 1 car around the circuit, what can you do?”
“I have not done a very long tenure, 20 laps, 25 laps, whatever. I should still be able to run the circuit.
Mercedes owner Toto Wolf said the Bottas puncture “came out of nowhere – we tried to rebuild it, and there was literally no sign, just a small vibration, not enough to pierce the car” while Finn described his sudden problem as “very strange”. Said. Because it happened “before any vibration without any loss of grip”.
All tires are provided by Pirelli and their owner Mario Isola addressed the raft of punkers after the race.
“The front left is the most stressed tire – I don’t want to say it’s due to excessive energy or something like that,” he said.
“The first element I can share with you is that all the tires were very tight, close to 100 percent.
“We are waiting for the telemetry data from the teams. It is really important that if the loss of pressure happened suddenly. We saw a lot of impact and high speed on the curbs.
“When the tires are fitted, it is less protected from curbs, from larger and higher energy effects, then it may be that they begin to lose pressure and at this point you have to change the tires or they are flat.”
Hamilton started the dream and moved on
The 20th season of the season has been held in Qatar from one year to the start of the FIFA World Cup and the trophy was on display, with some of the best players in the game – David Beckham, Andrea Pirlo and John Terry getting touchlines. A view of how fast Hamilton takes corners.
Playing the rainbow helmet he wore to practice and raising awareness for human rights and equality, Hamilton began the dream, quickly moving away from the pack and rising from seventh to fourth in Verstapen.
Charging Verstappen knocked Pierre Gasley’s Alpha Toure from Lap Four in the third, Alonso fought back shortly after to leave only Hamilton in his cross hair.
With the new engine connected before Brazil fired on all the cylinders, Hamilton was leaving his Red Bull followers in the dust of the desert.
Nine seconds later, Verstappen became the first to hit on Lap 18 and restarted in the second.
Mercedes covered that move, bringing Hamilton to the next lap and Britt resuming the lead at about eight seconds.
Like the game of shadow boxing, Mercedes used the same tactics when pitting Verstappen next time, leaving Hamilton on the brink of victory and wondering what the Red Bull could do to keep their championship hopes alive.
Although there are many ways for a driver to reach the crown of 2021, Verstappen will claim if he wins in Saudi Arabia in a fortnight and Hamilton is out of the top 10.
Mercedes did not have all the cards for them, although this weekend Voltaire Botas took a five-point lead over Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship to give Silver Arrows a late puncture.
Queue GP Result: Top 10
1) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2) Max Verstapen, Red Bull
3) Fernando Alonso, Alpine
4) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
5) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
6) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
7) Carlos Sanz, Ferrari
8) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
9) Lando Norris, McLaren
10) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin