Lewis Hamilton secures Qatar GP victory

KARIM JAAFAR / AFP

Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton won the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday to cut Max Verstappen's overall Formula One lead to eight points with two races remaining.

Red Bull's Verstappen was second, after starting seventh following a five-place grid drop for failing to respect warning flags in Saturday's qualifying, but took a bonus point for fastest lap.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso was third for Renault-owned Alpine, the 40-year-old Spaniard's first podium finish since 2014.

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