Hamilton's in-form and Alonso's last podium: Five things we learnt in Qatar

24-11-2021 10:00 Last update: 24-11-2021 10:02

There was always going to be talking points off the track with the first ever Qatar Grand Prix , but Lewis Hamilton very much did his talking on the track as he romped to arguably the most emphatic win of the season. He cut the gap to Max Verstappen and continued his fine form, to keep his title hopes alive. Here's five things we learn from the first Qatar Grand Prix.

The current layout is not fit for F1

Now this has become a recurring theme throughout Formula 1 and sadly it makes viewing at times extremely difficult. The current layout of the Qatar circuit is just not what F1 needs to A make the sport more entertaining and B attract new fans. Heading to Qatar had already left a sour taste, the lack of atmosphere at the circuit the money motivation behind the move and no less the human rights record of the country, it already felt a little tinged. You'd have thought the least they could do is put on an incredible race, and well we didn't get that. And the fact is it could have been a whole lot worse, had overtaking been as hard as initially predicted. Now, when Qatar returns in two years time, it is expected to be at a newly built circuit, and I can't stress enough how important it is they get it right, because ifFormula 1 keeps going to circuits like this but never get to see another race on the Bahrain Outer Loop, they can consider themselves robbed. 

Time is on Qatar's side

The issue with Qatar was overtaking was so difficult. If Qatar wants to be successful they need to make overtaking challenging but acheiveable with relative ease. People want to see racing and overtaking is the main action. If they just make a DRS train, fans will go off it pretty quickly and it won't attract these new audiences the sport is desperate for. The beauty of having a year off the calendar means they've got time to really crack the puzzle and make a track fit for the pinnacle of motorsport. 

No one knows the rules

This problem is a roll over from Interlagos, no one really knows the rules or boundaries anymore in a number of situations and it just creates confusion, not only for the drivers but for us fans. Max Verstappen says everything is very clear with the limits on pushing eachother off the track but Lewis Hamilton is none the wiser. Next time out in the FIA have set the bar with the incident in Brazil so there might be some very unhappy drivers if they don’t stick to it. That wasn’t the only confusion as the stewards handed out penalties for failing to lift under yellow flags. Initially they decided nothing was needed, then they changed their mind. Verstappen and Bottas were penalised but were they harsh, not by the rules and by precedents set in the past, you look back to Hamilton in Austria a year ago or Max in Mexico in 2019. The confusion and the abiguity doesn’t help the sport, I’ve said it so often before and it does not attract new fans at all and it actually puts off long term fans. 

Lewis Hamilton is bang in form

If there was any chance of Max Verstappen running away with the World Championship Lewis Hamilton has shut that down with two of the most emphatic performances of the season. He was electric in Brazil working his way through the field, and he was dominant controlling the race from the front in Qatar. Never did it look like he was in any danger, mainly because he was so much quicker than anyone else, but as we saw with Bottas’ struggles, it isn’t just about the car, Hamilton is well and truly in the groove right now. Not only has Hamilton found form so have the Mercedes team in general, they’ve got their calls right lately, preventing Hamilton from going long to shut off Verstappen, and as we saw with the tyre blowouts later in the race, it was the riht call. The Silver Arrows aren’t going down without a fight.

And finally, Fernando Alonso is back

Over seven years since his last Formula 1 podium, Fernando Alonso was back on the steps as he finished third. His last podium was P2 Hungary 2014, since then, Lewis Hamilton has won six World Championships, Donald Trump has been elected and failed to be reelected as president of the United States, I’ve finished school, college and university, and GP Blog was founded!

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