Max Verstappen dominated the inaugural 2021 British Sprint Qualifying to take victory and claim pole position for the British Grand Prix.
Verstappen dominated Saturday Practice as many drivers focused on long runs before surviving a fiery start with his brakes ablaze to take the lead and victory, thus extending his championship lead to 33 points after Lewis Hamilton finished second.
Now here is a full roundup of Saturday’s F1 action as the new weekend format trial continued.
With Qualifying having taken place on Friday evening (16 July), teams opted to use Saturday’s Practice to focus on long run race simulations in order to gather data for not just Sprint Qualifying later in the afternoon but also the main race on Sunday too.
Esteban Ocon was the early pacesetter as several drivers opted to focus on heavy fuel race simulations until Max Verstappen ventured out just after a quarter of a hour into the session, with the Championship leader going top on 1m 30.428.
Verstappen eventually wasn’t dislodged as he found 0.526 seconds to ultimately finish fastest with 1m 29.902 ahead of Charles Leclerc, as several drivers set their fastest time on the medium compound except for some who were quickest on the soft or hard tyres.
Out of the soft runners, Carlos Sainz was quickest in third place ahead of Hamilton in eighth and Gasly in tenth, whilst Antonio Giovinazzi, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finished outside of the top ten despite setting their best laps on the softest tyre available.
Bottas meanwhile finished ninth quickest despite being the only driver to set his fastest lap on the hard tyre.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1m 29.902 (M)|
|2||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 0.375 (M)|
|3||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+ 0.605 (S)|
|4||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+ 0.805 (M)|
|5||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+ 0.898 (M)|
|6||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 1.128 (M)|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||+ 1.132 (M)|
|8||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 1.229 (S)|
|9||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+ 1.278 (H)|
|10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 1.286 (S)|
|11||George Russell||Williams||+ 1.335 (M)|
|12||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.361 (S)|
|13||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+ 1.387 (S)|
|14||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.426 (S)|
|15||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 1.435 (M)|
|16||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+ 1.502 (M)|
|17||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+ 1.691 (M)|
|18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+ 2.139 (M)|
|19||Nikita Mazepin||Haas||+ 2.572 (M)|
|20||Mick Schumacher||Haas||+ 4.115 (M)|
Bottas, Alonso, Ocon and Raikkonen all opted for soft tyres whereas the rest of the grid ran the Sprint on medium tyres., as Verstappen made a lightning start to snatch the lead from Hamilton despite his brakes being ablaze as the lights went out.
Verstappen thereafter comfortably fended off Hamilton throughout the rest of the race ahead of Bottas and Leclerc, as Alonso climbed to fifth initially but Norris and Ricciardo demoted him to seventh on laps six and nine respectively.
Sergio Perez meanwhile lost control of his Red Bull on lap five chasing Norris and slid wildly off track out of Becketts into Chapel, dropping to 20th where he ultimately finished after briefly recovering to 18th above both Haas drivers of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.
Sebastian Vettel finished eighth after failing to overhaul Alonso in the closing laps as George Russell clung on to ninth, after briefly dropping to tenth following a bang of wheels with Sainz on lap one into Brooklands with the Spaniard sliding wide but recovered to 11th.
With victory, Verstappen now extended his lead over Hamilton by a single point to 33 points whilst Bottas remains fifth and now eight points behind Norris in the driver standings, having taken the final point in third place.
George Russell finished ninth after initially dropping to tenth following an early tangle with Carlos Sainz at Brooklands, yet will start the main race from 12th after stewards handed him a three place grid penalty for forcing Sainz wide after suffering a lockup of his front brakes.
The Sprint results also set the grid for tomorrow’s 2021 British Grand Prix with Verstappen therefore starting from pole ahead of Hamilton and Bottas, with full Sprint results available below.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||17||25m 38.426|
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||17||+ 1.430|
|3||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||17||+ 7.502|
|4||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||17||+ 11.278|
|5||Lando Norris||McLaren||17||+ 24.111|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||17||+ 30.959|
|7||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||17||+ 43.527|
|8||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||17||+ 44.439|
|9*||George Russell||Williams||17||+ 46.652|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||17||+ 47.395|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||17||+ 47.798|
|12||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||17||+ 48.763|
|13||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||17||+ 50.677|
|14||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||17||+ 52.179|
|15||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||17||+ 53.225|
|16||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||17||+ 53.567|
|17||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||17||+ 55.162|
|18||Mick Schumacher||Haas||17||+ 1m 08.213|
|19||Nikita Mazepin||Haas||17||+ 1m 17.648|
|20||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||16||+ 1 Lap|
*George Russell will start 12th after being hit with a three place grid penalty for forcing Carlos Sainz wide at Brooklands.