until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Bottas wins Italian GP sprint race, Hamilton falls to fifth

by Matt Beer
6 min read

Valtteri Bottas took a straightforward victory in Formula 1’s second Sprint at Monza, his first win since last year’s Russian Grand Prix, but his engine penalties mean Max Verstappen will start the Italian GP from pole.

And in an extra bonus for Verstappen and Red Bull, championship rival Lewis Hamilton will be down in fourth on the grid on Sunday having tumbled down the order with a poor start to the Sprint – meaning Red Bull comes out of Saturday in the strongest position despite Mercedes having been the Monza pacesetter all weekend so far.

Hamilton immediately lost ground from second on the grid behind Bottas and was down in sixth by the exit of the first chicane.

He regained one position via Pierre Gasly ploughing off and into the wall at the Curva Grande because he had clipped Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren and broken his AlphaTauri’s front wing, which then folded under the car.

That crash caused a safety car period, and means last year’s shock Monza winner starts the 2021 Italian GP at the back.

The rest of the race was largely uneventful, with Bottas edging away from Verstappen to win by just over two seconds.

Daniel Ricciardo had his strongest race performance for McLaren to beat team-mate Lando Norris to third place, as both fended off race-long pressure from Hamilton despite their soft tyres having been expected to fade by the end, which means Ricciardo gets a front row start for Sunday.

The Ferraris of an unwell Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz – his car successfully repaired after his practice crash – took sixth and seventh ahead of the impressive Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo.

Sergio Perez had to work hard for ninth in the second Red Bull having lost ground on lap one. He needed two attempts to pass Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin having cut the first chicane in his initial move.

Fernando Alonso couldn’t repeat his Silverstone Sprint heroics but did progress to 11th from 13th on the grid.

George Russell was another to lose ground on lap one, and finished behind Williams team-mate Nicholas Latifi in 15th.

Yuki Tsunoda had to pit for repairs after clashing with Robert Kubica at the second chicane on the first lap, then recovered to 16th, while Kubica was spun into the gravel but later overtook Mick Schumacher to earn 18th.

Sprint Qualifying Results

Pos Name Car Gap Best Time
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m23.54s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda +2.325s 1m23.502s
3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes +14.534s 1m24.291s
4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes +18.835s 1m24.554s
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +20.011s 1m24.253s
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +23.442s 1m24.677s
7 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +27.952s 1m24.918s
8 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari +31.089s 1m25.126s
9 Sergio Pérez Red Bull-Honda +31.68s 1m24.211s
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes +38.671s 1m25.349s
11 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault +39.795s 1m25.225s
12 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes +41.991s 1m25.493s
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault +44.187s 1m25.613s
14 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes +46.791s 1m25.711s
15 George Russell Williams-Mercedes +47.635s 1m25.835s
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda +50.791s 1m25.847s
17 Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari +1m03.413s 1m26.613s
18 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo-Ferrari +1m05.91s 1m26.772s
19 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 1m26.819s
Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 0s
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