November 21, (THEWILL) – At the Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday, Sir Lewis Hamilton won his second straight race, closing the deficit on Max Verstappen at the top of the drivers’ standings to only eight points.
After securing pole position at the Losail Circuit, which hosted a Formula One race for the first time, the seven-time world champion led from start to finish as he completed his title comeback after victory at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
Both Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen received grid penalties for ignoring yellow flags in qualifying, but the championship leader swiftly moved up to second place.
Bottas was down to 14th place after a puncture on lap 32, which was a setback for Mercedes, who needed points from both of their drivers to enhance their constructors’ title prospects.
Fernando Alonso had a strong start to the race, and despite being passed by Verstappen, he still managed to finish third, his best finish of the season so far.
Bottas was forced to retire early due to damage to his front wing, while Lando Norris, George Russell, and Nicholas Latifi all experienced late punctures, with the latter also withdrawing from the race.
Late in the race, Sergio Perez was racing down Alonso, but a virtual safety car halted his pursuit, giving Verstappen the fastest lap bonus point.
Hamilton and Verstappen were unstoppable throughout the race, setting the pace. With two races left in the 2021 season, in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, the gap between the two title contenders has narrowed to only eight points making the rest of the season very interesting to follow as the title race might go down the wire.