The car that cares

Lewis Hamilton wins Qatar Grand Prix, cutting Verstappen’s points lead

LOSAIL, Qatar — Lewis Hamilton inched nearer to the Formulation One particular championship direct with a dominating victory Sunday in the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix to gain back again-to-back again wins and chip away at Max Verstappen’s points edge.

Hamilton, who also won past week in Brazil, has trimmed 17 points from Verstappen’s direct in the title race in a week. Verstappen still retains an eight-position direct with two races remaining in a single of the most spectacular F1 title fights in at minimum a decade.

“I’m genuinely, genuinely grateful for these points. It is really been a hell of a calendar year,” Hamilton explained. “To be at this position in the calendar year and have back again-to-back again wins is a fantastic sensation.”

The seven-time champion started off from pole for Mercedes and was hardly ever challenged on the Losail Intercontinental Circuit as Hamilton won his 102nd profession race. It was his seventh victory of the time.

Verstappen concluded second for Red Bull, just about twenty five seconds driving Hamilton.

“It was quite lonely at the front,” Hamilton explained.

Verstappen was strike with a penalty ahead of the race even commenced when he was dropped 5 spots on the commencing grid for violating a yellow flag in Saturday’s qualifying. The Dutchman experienced capable second but the stewards requested him to drop back again on the grid following Sunday hearings for Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz.

All a few ended up accused of not following yellow flag rules in the vicinity of the close of qualifying. Bottas, who experienced capable third, was penalized a few commencing sports. Sainz was not penalized.

Red Bull was mystified by the grid penalty for Verstappen, who shed any chance to challenge Hamilton for the acquire when he was penalized. Red Bull principal Christian Horner criticized the penalty when it was handed down.

“We’re genuinely struggling to recognize it,” Horner explained. “That’s a vital blow in this globe championship for us.”

Inspite of the penalty, Verstappen desired only 5 laps to get well and generate back again to exactly where he was at first slated to commence.

“Our commencing posture was a bit compromised,” Verstappen explained. “I know it really is heading to be tough to the close but I assume which is good. It keeps it thrilling.”

But he explained he was all set for the worries in advance in Saudi Arabia and the finale in Abu Dhabi.

“I really feel great,” he explained. “It’s heading to be limited.”

Hamilton, winner of four straight titles, has all the momentum now. The British driver is searching for a history eighth F1 title, which would move him previous Michael Schumacher.

“I’m sensation genuinely great, I’m genuinely, genuinely pleased with the car,” Hamilton explained. “I really feel fitter than at any time, so which is a favourable.”

Fernando Alonso of Alpine concluded third for his very first podium given that 2014. He was aided by the pre-race penalties to Verstappen and Bottas, which moved the Spaniard up to third on the commencing grid.

Sergio Perez concluded fourth to enable Red Bull in its push to conquer Mercedes for the constructors championship.

Associated video: