Lewis Hamilton has closed the gap between himself and title rival Max Verstappen in the 2021 Drivers World Championship standings, after a dominant display that saw the Brit claim a ‘lights-to-flag’ victory at the Losail International Circuit at the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix.

Verstappen crossed the line 25 seconds after Hamilton, taking a second place finish and softening the blow to his title lead.

Bottas started at P3, however on lap 33 he sustained a puncture which forced him to retire from the race, making it his fourth DNF of the season.

The margin separating Verstappen from Hamilton has diminshed as the point differance is now only eight. Before the race it was 14. Now with only two more races to go the next points to be scored are crucial in deciding the 2021 world championship.

The Moneqasque, Charles Leclerc scored four points by finishing in eighth place, behind his teamate Carlos Sainz. For Leclerc these points are critical as he is only one point away from becoming fifth in the drivers’ standings, which is currently taken by Lando Norris.

FILE PHOTO: Hamilton, now only eight points behind Verstappen