Max Verstappen storms to dominant Qatar GP win to top off championship hattrick

Verstappen never looked in doubt up front during a race dominated by enforced pit stops.

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Max Verstappen romped home to victory in the Qatar GP as the Dutchman rounded off the weekend he took his third consecutive championship in style.

Verstappen never really looked under threat up front, despite a slow final pitstop, from the chasing McLaren pair of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris, with the Woking team best of the rest yet again as they continue their resurgence in form.

The two McLarens were told to hold position and bring home the double podium, and it looked like they could be on for a late fight, but they held position for Piastri to take second ahead of his teammate.

George Russell managed to work his way back up the order to cross the line in fourth after a disastrous start when he collided with teammate Lewis Hamilton, an incident which took Hamilton out of the race and saw Russell tumble to the back of the pack.

However, the Mercedes driver fought his way back through the pack to take a solid fourth, ahead of Charles Leclerc, who inherited fifth from Fernando Alonso after the Aston Martin driver went off the track at Turn 2.

Esteban Ocon came home seventh for Alpine, ahead of the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas, while Sergio Perez worked his way back up to ninth after starting from the pitlane due to changing his power unit.

Meanwhile Zhou Guanyu overtook Lance Stroll on the final lap to take the final points paying position.

Tyres and track limits

The race was dominated by enforced limits on how long tyres could be used, with Pirelli and the FIA stipulating before the race that the drivers could run for a maximum of 18 laps per stint due to concerns over tyre wear at the Losail International Circuit.

Despite the worries about tyres, it was track limits that played a larger role in proceedings, with Perez, Alex Albon, Stroll and others forced to serve time penalties.

And to top it off, the drivers all complained about struggling in the heat of the Qatari desert, with Logan Sargeant retiring from the race due to physical issues and complaining about potentially vomiting in his helmet.

Carlos Sainz was the other drivers alongside Sargeant and Hamilton to not cross the line, after the Ferrari driver was unable to start due to an issue with his car.

All of the drivers appeared spent after the race, pouring water over their heads as they got into the paddock to get some well earned rest after one of the most intensely physical races on the calendar.

Matt Neill
Matt Neillhttps://total-motorsport.com
With years of experience in the motorsports field and Matt Neill founded Total-Motorsport.com to give clarity and more depth to the digital F1 landscape.
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