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Qatar GP: Hamilton wins, Alonso’s podium and tyre failures

Qatar Alonso
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team celebrates his third position on the podium. 21.11.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Qatar Grand Prix, Doha, Qatar, Race Day. – http://www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images

The inaugural Qatar Grand Prix witnessed Lewis Hamilton taking the chequered flag. Despite a two stop strategy, the reigning world champion managed to lead every lap. Converting his impressive pole position into a win.

On the second position was Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, also gaining a point for the fastest lap. But it’s not the title protagonists who brought out the deep cheers, rather it was Alpine’s Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard after 7 years got a podium place. 

This third position becomes the 98th podium for Alonso, the last being at Hungary in 2014. His team mate, Esteban Ocon also got good points for Alpine by getting a P5.

This performance gives them a decent advantage against the AlphaTauri drivers. The sister team of Red Bull were unable to score any points. Pierre Gasly closely missed out on point as he finished in 11th whereas Yuki Tsunoda ended at P13.

Another important twist (or the only twist you may say) in Qatar was tyre failures. The kerbs made it so tough for the drivers going for a one-stop strategy. This resulted into 4 tyre failures – Bottas, Latifi, Russell and Norris. 

The other Mercedes of Bottas was the first one to get the kerb’s curse. His front left tyre got a puncture on Lap 34. But this was not the only bad news, he also had to retire his car later in the race.

Other retirement came from the Williams, Latifi suffered a puncture at Lap 52. This later brought a Virtual Safety Car as he stopped his car outside the track at Turn 10. His team mate, George Russell also had a puncture but managed to finish the race though getting a P17.

The McLaren team however saved any tyre casualty in time. Lando pitted on Lap 50 after sensing something was wrong with the tyre. Though he lost his fourth position due to the emergency call, he ended the race at P9.

This meant the papaya team once again lost the chance to get back in the constructors’ championship fight. Since Ricciardo was at P12 (no points) whereas getting points for Ferrari were Sainz at P7 followed by Leclerc at P8.

Now we head to Jeddah with a 8 point gap between Verstappen and Hamilton. Did I mention Stroll got P6 and Perez P4?

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