Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton controlled the Qatar GP from start to finish, taking advantage not only of his pole position but also of the Sunday morning grid penalty handed to Red Bull-Honda's Max Verstappen for a yellow flag issue in qualifying.

Max quickly sliced his way into P2 but by then Lewis was in a position to direct the show from every angle. The star of the day, though, was Alpine's Fernando Alonso. Elevated to P3 on the grid due to the penalties applied not only to Max but also to Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, Fernando ran P2 in the early stages before finishing third on a tip-toe one-stop strategy.

Red Bull-Honda's Sergio PĂ©rez, rapidly closing the gap to Alonso via a two-stop strategy from the middle of the grid, finished P4, his charge curtailed right at the end by the advent of a VSC (virtual safety car). Peter Windsor offers his analysis.


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