Race Analysis – Faultless

Lewis Hamilton was faultless as he qualified his Mercedes on pole and led every lap of the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix. Things got a bit congested in Turn 1 at the start of the 57-lap race, but Hamilton swept into the lead ahead of Alonso, Gasly, Verstappen, Norris, Ocon and Sainz. Verstappen was on the move forwards, and at the start of lap 5 he took second place from Alonso. At the end of lap 6 Verstappen was 3.7 seconds behind leader Hamilton. Verstappen never got close enough to challenge Hamilton for the lead. Verstappen pitted at the end of lap 17 to switch from the medium compound Pirellis to the hard compound tires. Verstappen pitted at the end of lap 41 for a set of the medium compound Pirellis. Norris had been running fourth behind Alonso, but his left front tire was deflating and he had to pit for tires at the end lap 50. Verstappen already had the fastest race lap and the point that goes with it. But he pitted for a set of the soft Pirellis at the end of lap 55. The VSC ended at the start of lap 56, and Verstappen knocked off another fastest lap.

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