Lewis Hamilton received Sunday’s inaugural Qatar Grand Prix with a commanding efficiency from pole to chop Max Verstappen’s world championship result in eight factors.
The Mercedes seven-time champion comfortably held off his arch Dutch rival’s Purple Bull beneath the Losail circuit’s lights to depart the battle for the F1 drivers’ crown delicately poised with solely two races remaining.
Fernando Alonso took third for Alpine, the previous two-time world champion’s first podium since 2014.
One week on from arguably his hardest and best win in Brazil, Hamilton loved one in every of his best.
And after an unprecedented eighth world title seemed to be slipping from his grasp after Verstappen’s wins within the USA and Mexico, it’s the 36-year-old Briton fairly than the 12-year-younger pretender who has the momentum.
“We would have liked these factors at the moment. I can’t wait to look at the race replay to search out out what occurred behind me,” he mentioned after his 102nd profession win.
“I’m actually grateful for these factors, it’s been a hell of a yr. Again-to-back wins right here, really feel good, I really feel match, fitter than I’ve ever felt. Convey on the following two!”
Verstappen, who was demoted from second to seventh on the grid for a yellow flag infringement in qualifying on Saturday, took second, and picked up a degree for the quickest lap.
“Our beginning place was compromised, however fortunately we had a very good begin,” he mentioned.
“After all, I do know it’s going to be troublesome to the top but it surely retains it good, retains it thrilling. This observe was enjoyable to drive as nicely. I really feel good, but it surely’s going to be a good battle to the top.”
Hamilton’s sooner engine, fitted final weekend in Sao Paulo, will give Purple Bull a probable powerful time once more on the extremely fast new circuit in Saudi Arabia in a fortnight’s time forward of the season-closing race in Abu Dhabi in mid-December.