Lewis Hamilton won the first Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday with excellent pole performance, cutting Max Verstappen’s lead in the World Championship to eight points.
The seven-time Mercedes champion comfortably kept his Dutch rival’s Red Bull under the light of the Lozail circuit to emerge from the battle for the Formula 1 driver’s crown with only two races left.
Fernando Alonso finished third in mountaineering, a former two-time world champion, first on the podium since 2014.
A week after what was arguably the toughest and biggest win in Brazil, Hamilton was enjoying one of his easiest victories.
And after an unprecedented eighth world title seemed to slip out of his grasp following Verstappen’s victories in the US and Mexico, the 36-year-old Briton has the momentum, not a 12-year-old challenger.
“We needed these glasses today. I can’t wait to watch the replay of the race to find out what happened behind me, ”he said after his 102nd career win.
“I’m really grateful for these glasses, it was a hell of a year. Winning in a row here, I feel good, I feel in good shape, better than I have ever felt. Bring the next two! “
Penalty for Verstappen
Verstappen, who was relegated from second to seventh in the table for breaking the yellow flag in Saturday’s qualifying, finished second and scored a point in the fastest lap.
“Our starting position was violated, but luckily we had a really good start,” he said.
“Of course, I know it’s going to be difficult until the end, but it keeps it calm, it keeps it exciting. This track was also fun to ride. I feel good, but it will be a tough battle until the end. “
A faster Hamilton engine installed last weekend in Sao Paulo will give Red Bull likely rough times on the super-fast new track in Saudi Arabia two weeks before the season-closing race in Abu Dhabi in mid-December.