Lewis Hamilton Holds Off Max Verstappen To Win Thrilling F1 Season Opener

Lewis Hamilton Holds Off Max Verstappen To Win Thrilling F1 Season Opener. image: Twitter

Lewis Hamilton Holds Off Max Verstappen To Win Thrilling F1 Season Opener.

In a nail-biting finale, Verstappen’s car looked to have the speed to secure his 12th grand prix win and in the closing stages the Dutchman did briefly take the lead, only to hand it back to Hamilton after running wide off the track.

“Amazing job guys,” said Hamilton, talking to the Mercedes team radio. “I’m so grateful. Everybody back in the factory- working so hard. I know we weren’t quick enough but we managed to do it.”

Bidding to win a record eighth world title, Hamilton appears to have a real fight on his hands given the speed of Verstappen’s Red Bull car. “It’s of course a shame, but you also have to see the positive,” Verstappen told Sky Sports. “We’re putting the fight on to them (Mercedes), so it’s great to start the year like that.”

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas finished third, though he was 37 seconds adrift. “I’m disappointed with how it went,” said Bottas. “Lewis and I had different strategies today — from my side things could have been better.”

This was Hamilton’s 96th grand prix win and his first season-opening victory since 2015.
“Max was all over me right at the end, but just managed to hold him off, one of the most difficult races I have had for a while,” said Hamilton.
The opening lap had to be halted within a minute after Russian Nikita Mazepin, who was making his F1 debut, crashed his Haas car into the barriers at Turn Three.

Race results:

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

4. Lando Norris (McLaren)

5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

6. Charles LeClerc (Ferrari)

7. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

8. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

9. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)

10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

11. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)

12. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)

13. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

14. George Russell (Williams)

15. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)

16. Mick Schumacher (Haas)

17. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)

18. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

19. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

20. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)


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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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