Lewis Hamilton drove fairly unthreatened to victory in Qatar. The Briton had a bit of a scare when he saw a flying Max Verstappen already after a number of turns in fourth place.
Hamilton actually had a clear and unthreatening weekend during the Qatar Grand Prix. The Briton set the fastest time in qualifying on Saturday by a large margin and it seemed clear quite quickly how the flag hung in the Middle East. Later, the investigation into Verstappen was added. Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz and just before Sunday’s race, the first two men were penalized for ignoring yellow flags during qualifying.
It meant that Verstappen had to start from P7 in the oil state and Hamilton thus started with Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso behind him during the start. He easily beat off an attack from Gasly and from there it was basically cruising towards victory. “I never felt that I was threatened by anyone from the field. I got away well and after the start it was just a matter of keeping my head down and making a hole,” Hamilton told The Race.
Scary moment Hamilton
Despite the energetic start, Hamilton had a small scare when he saw early on how far Verstappen had stormed forward. “When I entered turn six, I could already see that Max had moved into fourth place. So I knew he had passed my teammate. At that time, of course, I didn’t know that Valtteri got away so badly. After that I just focused completely on achieving maximum points for the team. Red Bull had a reasonable speed in my opinion, but I was able to parry that easily,” he concludes.