Valtteri Bottas Wins Italian Sprint But Max Verstappen Claims Pole For 2021 Italian Grand Prix

(Image credit: @MercedesAMGF1)

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas claimed victory in the 2021 Italian Sprint but his power unit penalty means that Max Verstappen inherits pole position for 2021 Italian Grand Prix.

Bottas led from lights out ahead of Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris after Lewis Hamilton got bogged down to sixth which became fifth after Pierre Gasly crashed out at Curva Grande, as the consequential top five held position to the flag.

Verstappen however starts on pole position for tomorrow’s (12 September) main race after Bottas took a fourth power unit ahead of Qualifying yesterday (10 September), which put the Finnish driver to the back of the grid for the Italian GP.

Now here is a full roundup of Saturday’s action across FP2 and Sprint Qualifying.



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Nicholas Latifi was first out but it was Haas’ Nikita Mazepin who set the initial pace before Sergio Perez took over in the ninth minute with 1m 24.870, with the Mexican then lowering his benchmark by 0.025 seconds just seven minutes later.

Perez’s Red Bull teammate – Max Verstappen then went top 20 minutes into the session with 1m 23.754 on medium tyres as Gasly settled into third, upon completion of the opening flying laps by the entire grid with majority largely focused on race simulations ahead of Sprint Qualifying.

Carlos Sainz however brought the session to a 13 minute halt after he spun his Ferrari on entry into Ascari, striking the inside barrier with heavy impact which sent him spinning back onto the racetrack, albeit without his front wing and nose as all drivers on track at that moment avoided colliding with him.

Once the session resumed, many opted for a soft tyre flier with Hamilton emerging quickest with 1m 23.246 ahead of Valtteri Bottas, as Verstappen failed to improve in third ahead of Perez, Esteban Ocon, Robert Kubica, Antonio Giovinazzi, Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly.

Norris rounded out the top ten but like Verstappen, he set his best lap time on the medium compound, alongside; Charles Leclerc, Ricciardo, George Russell, Yuki Tsunoda, Nikita Mazepin, mick Schumacher and Carlos Sainz.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel finished 18th quickest after having set his fastest lap on the hard tyres.

Position Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m 23.246
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes + 0.222
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.508
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull + 0.671
5 Esteban Ocon Alpine + 1.017
6 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo + 1.034
7 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 1.256
8 Fernando Alonso Alpine + 1.293
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri + 1.408
10 Lando Norris McLaren + 1.419
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 1.524
12 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren + 1.528
13 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 1.559
14 George Russell Williams + 1.837
15 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri + 2.176
16 Nikita Mazepin Haas + 2.483
17 Lance Stroll Aston Martin + 2.517
18 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin + 2.689
19 Mick Schumacher Haas + 2.766
20 Carlos Sainz Ferrari + 2.878


Sprint Race

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At lights out, Bottas made a clean start to retain his lead as Hamilton got bogged down to sixth behind Verstappen, Norris, Ricciardo and Gasly, of which both Norris and Ricciardo were on soft tyres with everyone else in top six on medium tyres.

Gasly however clipped Ricciardo’s rear at Variante della Rettifilo and sustained front wing failure, which caused him to crash at Curva Grande, luckily escaping harm but caused a Safety Car as Robert Kubica got spun by Yuki Tsunoda at Variante della Roggia.

Upon the Safety Car restart, Bottas made a clean getaway ahead of Verstappen, Ricciardo, Sainz, Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz as the top seven held station to the checkered flag in that order, despite Hamilton relentlessly trying to force his way past Norris for fourth but failing to do so.

Antonio Giovinazzi meanwhile fended off Sergio Perez to secure eighth on the grid for the main race, after the Mexican survived a scrap with Lance Stroll as he took ninth on Lap 10.

Bottas however will start the Italian Grand Prix from the back of grid after taking a fourth power unit despite taking three points for the Sprint victory, which means that Verstappen will start on pole ahead of Ricciardo and Norris with Hamilton qualified fourth on the grid.

Verstappen also extended his championship lead over Hamilton to five points by virtue of scoring two points to Hamilton’s zero points in this Sprint Qualifying.

Position Driver Team Laps Time
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 18 3..m ….
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 18 + 2.325
3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 18 + 14.534
4 Lando Norris McLaren 18 + 18.835
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 18 + 20.011
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 18 + 23.442
7 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 18 + 27.952
8 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 18 + 31.089
9 Sergio Perez Red Bull 18 + 31.680
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 18 + 38.671
11 Fernando Alonso Alpine 18 + 39.795
12 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 18 + 41.177
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine 18 + 43.373
14 Nicholas Latifi Williams 18 + 45.977
15 George Russell Williams 18 + 46.821
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 18 + 49.977
17 Nikita Mazepin Haas 18 + 62.599
18 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo 18 + 65.096
19 Mick Schumacher Haas 18 + 66.154
RET Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 0 Crash

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