Valtteri Bottas won the second sprint race of Formula 1, but Max Verstappen closed Saturday (11) in Monza as the big winner. The Dutchman finished the qualifying race in Italy in second place, only behind the Finn from Mercedes, but will start on pole due to the engine change provided by the seven-time champion team, which will make Bottas open the Italian GP at the end of the grid . To further improve the scenario for Max, Lewis Hamilton missed the start and did not go beyond fifth place in the sprint race. The Brit was the big loser of the day.
Thus, Bottas had 3 extra points with this afternoon’s triumph, while Verstappen had 2 for second place. The third position in the sprint race went to Daniel Ricciardo, from McLaren, in the best journey with the British team. As a bonus, the Australian scored 1 point and will close the front row of the grid on Sunday. And Hamilton, in addition to being only in the second row of the grid of the main race, ran out of points and saw the difference in the championship increase to 5 goals in relation to the championship leader.
Lando Norris finished fourth and held Hamilton well from the first lap, thus completing a great day for McLaren in Italy. Lewis had to settle for fifth place and was followed by the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Antonio Giovinazzi finished ninth after controlling pressure from Sergio Pérez in the final laps and Lance Stroll finished tenth, but with the punishment imposed on Bottas, the Canadian will start in the Italian GP in ninth, just ahead of Fernando Alonso.
Formula 1 accelerates this Sunday for the dispute of the Italian GP, with a start scheduled for 10 am (from Brasília, GMT-3). An hour earlier, the channel BIG PRIZE on YouTube airs LIVE the pre-race edition of BRIEFING, with the analysis of the weekend and the latest information before the start in Monza. With a presentation by Victor Martins and comments by Pedro Henrique Marum and Fernando Silva.
Find out about the Formula 1 sprint race in Italy
The second sprint race in Formula 1 history started with 28ºC ambient temperature and 43ºC on the track. Before that, Marcell Jacobs, Italian who was Olympic champion in the 100m sprint and the 4x100m relay at the Tokyo Games, simulated a match in the competition that made him famous in 2021.
Even before the start, Mercedes had already hit backstage for Valtteri Bottas to let Lewis Hamilton pass and open maximum points for Max Verstappen throughout Saturday’s race. “I would like to go through the first turn in 1-2 in the same formation [da largada]. We saw that there are many variables at the start, and then everything will settle down”, said the team leader. Bottas, Hamilton and Verstappen opted for the strategy of starting the race with medium tires.
Mercedes just didn’t expect Hamilton to start too badly. The seven-time champion did not traction well and lost many positions in the first meters and fell from second to fifth. Bottas started well and kept first position, followed by Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, who started on soft tires and managed to pass Lando Norris before the chicane.
On the first lap, Pierre Gasly even touched lightly on Ricciardo’s McLaren and had a damage to his front wing. The Frenchman, who won at Monza in 2020, lost control of the AlphaTauri car and crashed into Curva Grande. Safety car on the track. Back there, Yuki Tsunoda got involved in an incident with Robert Kubica and cursed the Pole: “Idiot”, he fired.
The race was restarted on lap 4. Bottas kept the lead, with Verstappen in second and McLarens of Ricciardo and Norris further back. In fifth, Hamilton had to fight with the cars ahead, starting with his compatriot.
Bottas maintained a slightly comfortable lead over Verstappen, who emerged as the big winner on Saturday at Monza due to Hamilton’s setback at the start. The sprint race was hectic right in the middle of the pack with the dispute that involved Sergio Pérez in ninth, Lance Stroll in tenth, Fernando Alonso in 11th and Sebastian Vettel, who came further back.
The top-10 of the race consisted of Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Norris, Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Antonio Giovinazzi, Pérez and Stroll.
The race continued without much change in the top positions. Verstappen tried to approach Bottas, but the Finn was comfortably ahead. Hamilton was looking to make it to Norris, but the young McLaren driver managed to stay strong in fourth. The only big dispute was for eighth place, with Pérez trailing behind Giovinazzi.
In the end, after 18 laps, Bottas confirmed the victory, while Verstappen closed the day with the real big winner in Monza. Much to Hamilton’s disappointment.
F1 2021, Italian GP, Monza, Start Grid:
|1||M VERSTAPPEN||Red Bull Honda||18 laps|
|two||D RICCIARDO||McLaren Mercedes||+12,209|
|7||THE GIOVINAZZI||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||+28,764|
|8||S PEREZ||Red Bull Honda||+29,355|
|9||L STROLL||Aston Martin Mercedes||+36,346|
|11||S VETTEL||Aston Martin Mercedes||+38,852|
|13||NO LATIFI||Williams Mercedes||+43,652|
|14||G RUSSELL||Williams Mercedes||+44,496|
|15||Y TSUNODA||AlphaTauri Honda||+47,652|
|16||N MAZEPIN||Haas Ferrari||+1:00,274|
|17||R KUBICA||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||+1:02,771|
|18||M SCHUMACHER||Haas Ferrari||+1:03,829|
|19||P GASLY||AlphaTauri Honda||NC|