Qatar Sprint Race: Verstappen crowned Champion, Piastri first win


Max Verstappen is now a three-time World Champion. The Dutchman executed a great comeback after a slow start to take second place at the Losail circuit, sandwiched between the two McLaren drivers.

The two Mercedes were off the podium, with George Russell finishing ahead of his teammateFerrari pays for the choice of the Soft tyre, which at the beginning had guaranteed an advantage over the medium runners. Still, the final laps saw the situation reversed.

McLaren returns to victory on Max Verstappen’s night. Mercedes gets the better of Ferrari.

Fourth Sprint Race of the season, with an unusual all-McLaren front row. Oscar Piastri starts in pole position. All drivers started on the mediums aside from the Ferraris, Alpines, Aston Martins, George Russell and Logan Sargeant.

The first lap was immediately full of action, with the two Ferraris climbing to third position with Sainz and fourth with Leclerc, respectively.

Difficult start for Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, who temporarily find themselves in fifth and sixth position. After a few corners, Liam Lawson ends up in the gravel, causing the first Safety Car of the weekend.

After a brief Safety Car, Russell decides to take advantage of the softs to overtake Oscar Piastri. However, after just a few corners, Logan Sargeant lost control of his Williams – ending up in the gravel – causing the second Safety Car of this Sprint.

Very tough restart for the Australian who, due to the poor grip of the yellow tyre, was forced to defend himself from Carlos Sainz. Verstappen made a key overtake on Charles Leclerc at lap 9. The Dutchman immediately went after Carlos Sainz, who lost position on the following lap.

The mediums started to work better than the softer compound halfway through the race, with Oscar Piastri regaining the lead and passing George Russell.

Meanwhile, Lando Norris (still on medium tyre) gets rid of Charles Leclerc and also begins his small comeback. 

A comeback which, however, was slowed down by the third Safety Car of the evening caused by Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, who ended up in the gravel in turn two, thus handing Max Verstappen his third world title.

Fourteenth lap and the action resumes on the track. Charles Leclerc took advantage of the red tire on the restart to overtake Lando Norris on the inside at Turn 1, with Pierre Gasly in the meantime, completing the overtaking on Lewis Hamilton, also taking advantage of the greater grip available.

By lap sixteen, the World Champion claimed second position, overtaking George Russell, who suffered from the degradation of soft tyres.

Lando Norris then managed to pass the two Ferrari drivers. Meanwhile, Hamilton made a pass on Pierre Gasly, taking advantage of an error by the Frenchman. 

The seven-time World Champion took advantage of the yellow tire and overtook his old rival, Fernando Alonso, before chasing the two Ferrari drivers.

Norris secured a podium position at the final lap of the Sprint. Oscar Piastri went on to secure the Sprint Race victory from Pole Position!

Crossing the line in P2, Max Verstappen won his third world title, finishing ahead of the other McLaren driver. The two Mercedes were off the podium but were still ahead of Ferrari (6th and 7th).

An extraordinary Alexander Albon concludes the points zone, who, after several races outside the points, scores a small point with a Williams that seemed to lack performance in recent events.

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang