Qatar Grand Prix: Hamilton to turn up the heat

Qatar Grand Prix: Hamilton to turn up the heat

Date: 21/11/2021

Venue: Losail International Circuit

A thrilling Formula One season ends with three races in the Middle East and Lewis Hamilton has the momentum ahead of the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix.

The race is a new addition to the F1 calendar – replacing the cancelled Australian Grand Prix – and could prove vital in the title race with Hamilton now only 14 points behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen following a superb victory in Brazil.

The wind appeared to be knocked out of Hamilton’s sails after Verstappen’s comprehensive win in Mexico.

The British driver was in the form of his life in Interlagos though, overcoming a series of penalties to take his sixth win of the campaign.

Powered by a new Mercedes engine, Hamilton finished almost half-a-second clear in qualifying and then overtook 25 drivers in two brilliant comeback drives to keep his title hopes alive – all of this at a venue supposed to suit Verstappen’s Red Bull machinery.

Suddenly the pendulum of momentum has swung back in Hamilton’s direction on what could prove a pivotal weekend and we are backing him for a second successive win at 1.75 as our first Qatar Grand Prix prediction.

How the Brazilian Grand Prix finished

1 Hamilton (Mercedes), 2 Verstappen (Red Bull), 3 Bottas (Mercedes), 4 Perez (Red Bull), 5 Leclerc (Ferrari), 6 Sainz (Ferrari), 7 Gasly (Alphatauri), 8 Ocon (Alpine), 9 Alonso (Alpine), 10 Norris (McLaren), 11 Vettel (Aston Martin), 12 Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), 13 Russell (Williams), 14 Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 15 Tsunoda (Alphatauri), 16 Latifi (Williams), 17 Mazepin (Haas), 18 Schumacher (Haas) DNF Ricciardo (McLaren), Stroll (Aston Martin)

Hamilton’s victory in Sao Paulo will go down as one of his best given the combined 25-place grid penalty he had to overcome.

“I never thought I would be able to close the championship gap because things kept going against us,” he said.

“But it just shows for everyone never give up, whatever you are facing. You just have to keep pushing, never stop fighting, and that was my approach this weekend. It feels like the first because I have not won in a long time.”

Indeed, this marked Hamilton’s first triumph since the Russian Grand Prix in September and only his second following August’s summer break.

Verstappen finished second while Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas completed the podium.

That was also the top three in Bahrain, Portugal and Spain earlier in the season so given we are backing Hamilton to win, we like the price boost of 4.50 for Verstappen to also be runner-up to Hamilton here with Bottas in third.

For the last of our Qatar Grand Prix betting tips, we like 1.80 for all Mercedes and Red Bull drivers to finish in the top six as they have in three of the last four races.

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