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Lewis Hamilton Wins 2021 Qatar Grand Prix

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Seven-time defending Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton comfortably won the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix over Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso surviving a one-stop pit strategy to claim the third and final podium position after a flurry of overnight penalties shuffled the grid.

Hamilton began on pole position and led from start to finish in a snoozefest for him – but behind him there was drama on the grid as Verstappen, who had qualified second, was handed a five-place grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags during his qualifying session. Similarly, Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas was also handed a penalty – three places – for the same type of infraction. Meanwhile, Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, was already starting in 11th after having a poor qualifying session.

With Hamilton starting alongside AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, he was mostly uncontested in taking the immediate lead while Verstappen, Bottas and Perez sorted out their positions behind him. Verstappen took a mere five laps to move into second place, where he sat for the remainder of the race, but Bottas endured a poor start and immediately dropped to 11th [and would eventually drop out of the race entirely after suffering car damage from a flat tire] while Perez got a good start and jumped up to seventh. However, Perez opted for a two-stop pit strategy while Alonso elected to roll the dice and stay with a one-stop strategy – which appeared even dicier when a slew of late race tire failures befell other competitors attempting the same strategy. But Alonso made his tires hold up and was additionally aided by a late-race virtual safety car which prevented Perez from catching him for the final podium spot.

With the victory, Hamilton shaves another six points off Verstappen’s lead which was once a whopping 21 points last month but is now down to only eight points – 351.5 to 343.5 – with two races to go, giving Hamilton the chance to claim his eighth F1 world title by winning both races.

2021 Qatar Grand Prix Top 10 Finishers

1] Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2] Max Verstappen Red Bull
3] Fernando Alonso Alpine
4] Sergio PĂ©rez Red Bull
5] Esteban Ocon Alpine
6] Lance Stroll Aston Martin
7] Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari
8] Charles Leclerc Ferrari
9] Lando Norris McLaren
10] Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin

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