Formula 1

“It’s maximum attack for the last two races” – Mercedes’ Toto Wolff

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2021 Qatar Grand Prix, Sunday - Steve Etherington

Lewis Hamilton won the first-ever Qatar Grand Prix to claim back-to-back victories, in what was a mixed evening at the Losail International Circuit for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team with Valtteri Bottas retiring.

Hamilton controlled the race from start to finish after starting from pole, the world champion won in commanding fashing with title-rival Max Verstappen finishing second. The British driver was untroubled throughout and now sits just eight points behind the Dutchman with two races remaining.

For Valtteri Bottas it was a difficult race, the Finnish driver had to start from sixth after being awarded a three-place grid penalty and then had a horrendous start. The Finnish driver found himself outside the top ten by the end of the first lap, he then took his time to begin his charge through the field.

His charge was brought to a sudden halt however after suffering a puncture, dropping him too far outside the points to recover, the team decided to retire his car in order to save mileage.

The team now lead Red Bull Racing by just five points after Sergio Pérez recovered to fourth, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff knows that there are still many challenges remaining with just two races left this season.

“That was a commanding win for Lewis. He controlled the pace from the front and did everything he needed to do, completely in the zone. The lion got woken up in Interlagos and we saw that today in Qatar! For Valtteri, it was a difficult day, the puncture came out of nowhere, with literally no indication, and unfortunately, he was the first one to pick up the puncture.

“But while we come away from the race result with mixed emotions, the pace of the car this weekend has been encouraging for the last two races. We know there are still many challenges to come but we’re enjoying the ride, when it is so tough, this is exactly why we are in this sport. It’s maximum attack for the last two rounds, we’ve got some points to make up, so this is what we’re aiming to do and we’re enjoying every minute of it.”

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