Verstappen cruises to victory in stint-limited Qatar

Champion-elect Max Verstappen romped to a straightforward victory at a tire-compromised Qatar Grand Prix ahead of another podium performance for McLaren. Verstappen’s only risk came off the line, when George Russell attempted to press him onto the Turn 1 apex to take position. Lewis Hamilton, starting third, got a better launch with his soft tires and tried to sweep around both, but he turned in too early and clipped his teammate, sending himself and Russell spinning off track. Russell was forced back to pit lane for fresh tires, but Hamilton retired, beached in the gravel, for which a five lap…

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