Motor racing-Team by team analysis of the Qatar Grand Prix

Formula One F1 - Qatar Grand Prix - Losail International Circuit, Lusail, Qatar - November 21, 2021 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton crosses the finish line to win the Qatar Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/Pool

(Reuters) - Team by team analysis of Sunday's Qatar Grand Prix, the 20th race of the 22-round Formula One world championship (listed in current order):

MERCEDES (Lewis Hamilton 1, Valtteri Bottas retired)

Hamilton led from pole to take his 102nd career victory and seventh of the season. He is now eight points behind Verstappen. This was the 30th circuit he was won at. Bottas started sixth, after a three place penalty for failing to respect warning flags in qualifying, and dropped to 11th at the start. He had a front-left puncture on lap 33, limped back to the pits but retired on lap 48 due to the damage. Mercedes are now only five points clear of Red Bull.

RED BULL (Max Verstappen 2, Sergio Perez 4)

Verstappen started seventh, after a five place grid penalty for failing to slow for yellow flags in qualifying, but was fourth at the end of lap one and second after five laps. He took a bonus point for fastest lap. Perez started 11th and might have been on the podium but for a switch to two stops and then the virtual safety car. Team boss Horner was handed an official warning for comments about a marshal, and apologised.

FERRARI (Carlos Sainz 7, Charles Leclerc 8)

Sainz started fifth after penalties for Bottas and Verstappen and did a one stop strategy. Both Ferrari drivers had to do a lot of tyre management. Leclerc started with a new chassis in 13th place. Ferrari double-stacked the drivers at the pitstop. They now lead McLaren by 39.5 points.

MCLAREN (Lando Norris 9, Daniel Ricciardo 12)

Norris started fourth and had good pace until a puncture wrecked his race and dropped him down from fourth with seven laps to go. The hard tyre that went in the second stint had done fewer laps than the soft in the first. Ricciardo started 14th, had a good first stint and then had to save fuel.

ALPINE (Fernando Alonso 3, Esteban Ocon 5)

Alonso secured his first podium since 2014, when he was at Ferrari. He started third after penalties to Verstappen and Bottas and was second after the first corner but could not ultimately hold off Verstappen. He returned to third place after Perez pitted for a second time. Ocon moved up four places from his grid position. Renault-owned Alpine started the race level on points with AlphaTauri and are now 25 clear.

ALPHATAURI (Pierre Gasly 11, Yuki Tsunoda 13)

Gasly started on the front row but lacked the speed to compete at the front. The team tried an aggressive two stop strategy but that did not work either. Tsunoda struggled on the soft tyre and was also slowed on the first stint when a visor tear-off became stuck on the rear wing, forcing an earlier pitstop to remove it.

ASTON MARTIN (Lance Stroll 6, Sebastian Vettel 10)

Stroll started 12th and made a strong start, undercutting Sainz at the pitstop. Both were on a one-stop. Vettel started 10th but dropped to 17th after being pushed wide by Bottas but made a strong recovery. This was the team's first double-points finish since France in June.

WILLIAMS (George Russell 17, Nicholas Latifi retired)

Latifi retired on lap 51 due to a puncture, bringing out the virtual safety car when he parked up by the side of the track and marshals had to come out to remove it. Russell started 15th and made an early stop on lap 17 and then had to pit again on lap 49 after a left-front puncture.

ALFA ROMEO (Kimi Raikkonen 14, Antonio Giovinazzi 15)

Both did a two-stop strategy. Giovinazzi gained four places at the start.

HAAS (Mick Schumacher 16, Nikita Mazepin 18)

Schumacher started 19th and did a one-stop strategy, as did Mazepin, who had completed only 15 laps in practice and qualifying due to chassis problems.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)

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