Home Sport news Rainbow victory in the emirate: Hamilton wins in Qatar before Verstappen

Rainbow victory in the emirate: Hamilton wins in Qatar before Verstappen

by archysport

formula 1
Rainbow victory in the emirate: Hamilton wins in Qatar before Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton defends first place in Qatar at the start

© Darko Bandic / DPA

Second victory in a row: Lewis Hamilton has further reduced the gap in the bitter world championship fight. The premiere in Qatar became the British solo show with a special touch in the fight for human rights. Verstappen comes in second.

With his new demonstrative rainbow helmet, Lewis Hamilton won the Formula 1 premiere in the controversial emirate of Qatar and, thanks to another demonstration of power, continued his race to catch up in the bitter world championship fight. The seven-time world champion drove a safe start-to-finish victory in his Mercedes on Sunday in front of FIFA boss Gianni Infantino exactly one year before the start of the World Cup. At the Losail International Circuit, Hamilton relegated Max Verstappen, who had been penalized before the start, to second place in the Red Bull with a lead of over eight seconds. “Fantastic job, guys, fantastic,” praised Hamilton over the radio. “We can do it.”

Thanks to an ultimately strong performance and the fastest lap, Verstappen at least defended his championship lead. Before the next much discussed race in two weeks in Saudi Arabia and the final on December 12th in Abu Dhabi, the lead shrank to just eight points. Third place in the 102nd Grand Prix victory after the 102nd Grand Prix pole in Hamilton sensationally went to the two-time world champion Fernando Alonso at the age of 40 in the Alpine. Sebastian Vettel took a point in the Aston Martin in tenth. Mick Schumacher was 16 at the Haas.

Verstappen operates maximum damage limitation

Verstappen operated maximum damage limitation against Hamilton, who had regained strength in time for the decisive World Cup phase, after the mood at the former industry leader had already been powerful in the basement. First Sergio Perez missed the top ten in the qualification in the second car and was missing as a tactical assistant in the fight against the Silver Arrows in fourth.

And then, almost two hours before the start of the race, Verstappen also received a five-position penalty for disregarding – albeit incorrectly – double-waved yellow flags in the knockout stages. Starting position seven instead of two right next to Pole Hamilton.

“It couldn’t have been worse,” raged Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. “It’s unbelievable. We have a billion-dollar sport,” and the International Automobile Association has no control over the stewards. One of the marshals had waved twice independently. Still, Verstappen would have had to see and pay attention to it.

Lewis Hamilton confidently maintains pole position

Roar and rumble have been part of the poisoned title fight between challenger Red Bull and defending champion Mercedes for weeks. Silver Arrow team boss Toto Wolff had already declared the end of diplomacy a week earlier when an extremely debatable Verstappen maneuver against Hamilton in Brazil was not even watched.

So it was not Verstappen, but Pierre Gasly who was on the Red Bull (Alpha Tauri) sister team next to Hamilton. Behind Alonso and Lando Norris in the McLaren, because Bottas also had to go back, but only three places because of the disregard for simply waved yellow flags. And all three behind Hamilton had the faster, softer tires on it. Maximum risk of overtaking at the start.

But Hamilton confidently maintained his pole, while Alonso pushed past Gasly and fought hard against rocket starter Verstappen. The Dutchman rushed past Bottas, who initially fell back to eleventh place, and continued to push, he grabbed Gasly and then Alonso. Damage limitation optimized after less than a tenth of the race, the gap to Hamilton: four seconds. He should hold it too, the Briton received a radio message from the Mercedes command post.

Valtteri Bottas has to give up after driving into the gravel bed

And so little happened at first. How striking the dominance of Hamilton was a week after his famous victory in Sao Paulo was shown by the time table: Before the first pit stop, Alonso was in third place more than half a minute behind. And so the superstar, who wants to support the LGBTQIA + community on the Arabian Peninsula with his new helmet design, was able to react relaxed to Verstappen’s tire change. He himself didn’t want to and quarreled, but the box brought him in. It didn’t change the order.

The risks of a one-stop strategy were shown by Bottas, who bobbed a flat left front wheel through the gravel and hit the sparks back over the route towards the pit and was ultimately eliminated. During the second tire change, Verstappen came in first, and Hamilton was able to react. Now it was only exciting to see who would secure the one point for the fastest race lap.

tis / Thomas Wolfer and Jens Marx
DPA

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