Sports

Qatar GP winner Hamilton reduces Verstappen’s lead

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton won the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix for Mercedes yesterday to cut Max Verstappen's overall Formula One lead to eight points with two races remaining.

Red Bull's Verstappen was second, after starting seventh following a five-place grid drop for failing to respect warning flags in Saturday's qualifying, but took a bonus point for fastest lap.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso, 40, was third for Renault-owned Alpine - his first podium finish since 2014.

"It was pretty straightforward, it was pretty lonely at the front," said Hamilton, who led from pole position and was never challenged. "Of course, I enjoy those races where you're battling through but we needed those points today, so I think a real solid job from the team."

Verstappen said: "I know it's going to be difficult to the end but that keeps it exciting."

The Dutchman can still win the championship with a race to spare at the next round in Saudi Arabia if Hamilton fails to score points. - REUTERS

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