While Lewis Hamilton never knew how to get rid of McLarens after a bad start, Valtteri Bottas dominated the sprint qualification for the Italian Grand Prix. Second, Max Verstappen will take advantage of the penalty against the Finn to start this Sunday from pole position.
If he did not win, Max Verstappen can have a smile! At the end of the sprint qualification for the Italian Grand Prix, the world championship leader gained the upper hand over his rival Lewis Hamilton. Indeed, the seven-time world champion will long regret his completely missed start at the start of the 18 laps of the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza which shaped the starting grid for the 14th stage of the season.
While Valtteri Bottas, who entered this race without pressure with the certainty of starting last Sunday following the use of a new over-quota engine, retained the advantage, the Finn saw his teammate lose his footing. Struggling to get out of second place on the starting grid, Lewis Hamilton saw Max Verstappen’s Red Bull Racing, Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri and Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris’ McLarens take the lead and relegate him to the sixth position. However, the start of the second sprint qualifying in Formula 1 history was not without a hitch. On the first braking, Pierre Gasly came into contact with the rear axle of Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren, damaging its front wing.
Gasly unhappy on the land of his feat
The latter, under the aerodynamic load induced by the third corner of the circuit, gave way and sent the winner of the last Italian Grand Prix at high speed through the tire barriers, which will force him from the back of the grid this Sunday. . The race management then immediately deployed the safety car while Robert Kubica, Kimi Räikkönen’s luxury replacement, spun after contact with Yuki Tsunoda, who was forced to make a pit stop.
After three neutralization laps, the safety car pulled away and the race was able to resume. The hierarchy did not budge in a race much less animated than that experienced at Silverstone. Indeed, Valtteri Bottas quickly offered himself a lead of two seconds on a Max Verstappen very happy with this position. The leading duo then quickly widened the gap on less efficient McLarens but very fast at top speed. Throughout the fifteen laps, Lewis Hamilton came up against his compatriot Lando Norris.
Verstappen takes the lead for the race
Even with the DRS open and the medium tires in better shape, the Mercedes driver was never able to attack his younger brother, shod on softer tires, and had to settle for this fifth place ahead of the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr, who was able to take part in this race despite leaving the track in the morning. While his seat is threatened for next season, Antonio Giovinazzi has gained two places on the track. The only other hot moment of this sprint was Sergio Pérez’s cavalier attack on Lance Stroll. The Mexican, before definitively passing the Canadian, had taken advantage of a passage off track to make his pass and returned the place a little late in the eyes of the Aston Martin team.
Having once again made the choice of soft tires, the Alpine riders were able to move up the hierarchy with two places won for Fernando Alonso and one for Esteban Ocon even though they will remain in the second half of the table at the start this Sunday. If Valtteri Bottas takes the three points allocated to the winner, Max Verstappen takes the opportunity to push Lewis Hamilton to five points in the championship before a Grand Prix which he will tackle in pole position.
– Formula 1 (@ F1) September 11, 2021