The first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix of Qatar was won by Lewis Hamilton. At the start, the Briton managed to keep behind Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso, who started on the soft tyre. Max Verstappen had to come from seventh place due to a grid penalty and that made it a lot easier, according to the Mercedes driver.
“Today the race was made a lot easier for me by the grid penalties the guys got for the mistake they made yesterday. That made it a lot easier,” Hamilton said after the race. RacingNews365.
The Brit was therefore able to do his own thing and finish the race unscathed. “I was mainly concerned with ensuring that the gap (relative to Verstappen, ed.) did not become too small and getting everything out of the car and also keeping it intact,” says Hamilton.
Many flat tires in Qatar
Keeping the car intact turned out to be quite a task for many drivers. As many as four drivers had to deal with flat tires in the race. Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton’s team-mate, was one of four drivers whose tire burst, but the seven-time world champion didn’t mind.
“I was busy managing my tires a lot. I wasn’t riding the curbs either, so I didn’t worry about that. I assume they got the flats from riding the curbs, but I stayed there far from the area, so it wasn’t a problem for me,” explains the Mercedes driver.
Hamilton not under pressure by Verstappen
Verstappen was no problem for Hamilton in the Grand Prix either. Still, the Briton admits that he was shocked when he saw that the Dutchman had made such a good start, but the Red Bull driver was unable to really put pressure on Hamilton, according to the Mercedes man. “I saw that Max was already fourth in turn six, so I knew he had already passed my teammate.”
“Of course I did not know then that Valtteri had had such a bad start, but after that I was only busy getting as many points as possible for the team. I felt good. She (Red Bull, ed.) We had a decent pace, but I could set the pace so it wasn’t a problem.”
It is now a real war between Red Bull and Mercedes
The title fight in Formula 1 does not only take place on the asphalt. Red Bull and Mercedes also try to hinder each other off the track as much as possible. Where did this war start and what else can happen? Watch it in the video below.