F1, Hamilton wins in Qatar: Alonso returns to the podium, Ferrari foolish

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FROM SENT TO LOSAIL. It is always the two of them, ever closer: Lewis Hamilton wins and recovers 6 points over Max Verstappen, who crosses the finish line of the Qatar Grand Prix in second position and remains the leader of the World Championship for a mere eight points. There are two races left, anything can happen: in two weeks in Saudi Arabia on a very fast and unprecedented street circuit and the following week, on 12 December, the grand finale in Abu Dhabi.

The race runs on a tightrope, but this time the duelists do not come close. And there is a reason: Verstappen in qualifying did the best lap under double yellow flags and took five penalty positions: from second to seventh, so no doors at the start. Recovering up to get behind Hamilton is easy for him, but from there he needs to launch an attack.

The only show of strength that the Red Bull driver is able to give is the fastest lap, because that little point could make the difference in such a balanced championship.

In the race Hamilton is impregnable. He does not need to force, since the main rival is far away. He manages, controls, administers a Sunday of total relaxation. He gave his best in qualifying, where he dominated, and on Sunday he reaped the fruits of his work. Five overtakes are also normal for Verstappen.

Behind the two missiles, the nice surprise is the podium of Fernando Alonso, the 98th of his career. The latest was in 2014, Hungarian GP, ​​at the wheel of the Ferrari from which he would have divorced at the end of the season. At 40 he still manages to get great satisfaction. However, the Alpine did well with the fifth position of Ocon, behind Perez (Red Bull).

The Ferraris take home what team principal Mattia Binotto would call a useful (and even ugly, we add) race: Sainz closes 7th behind Stroll after benefiting from the penalties inflicted on Verstappen and Bottas. Leclerc arrives in his wake, at least he has recovered five places compared to the position on the grid. The utility consists in the fact that McLaren, rival for third place behind Mercedes and Red Bull, managed to do worse: Norris 9th (due to a puncture in the final) and Ricciardo 12th. Now the Cavallino leads 297.5 to 258.

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