Hamilton closes gap on Verstappen with dominant win at Qatar GP

Clive Mason / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton won the first-ever Qatar Grand Prix with a masterful showing Sunday at the Losail International Circuit in Lusail, Qatar.

Hamilton now sits just eight points behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen - who finished second Sunday - for the top spot in the driver standings with only two races to go in the Formula 1 season.

"It was a pretty straightforward race in the end, and it was a great job by the team because we really needed the points today," Hamilton said post-race. "To get back-to-back wins is a great feeling and sets us up well for the final two races."

Verstappen was set to start from P2 after Saturday's qualifying session but was handed a five-place grid penalty for an infraction that dropped him to P7. The 24-year-old stole back a point with the fastest lap Sunday.

"Luckily, we had a really good start. At the end of the day, to get the fastest lap, was very nice," Verstappen said.

Alpine's Fernando Alonso placed third, which marked the first time in seven years the former two-time champion reached the podium.

"The team (was) excellent, and the reliability of the car is great at the moment," Alonso said. "I've waited so long for this, and I'm so happy."

Here's how the rest of the field fared:

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Hamilton closes gap on Verstappen with dominant win at Qatar GP
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