Italian GP: Bottas beats Verstappen in F1 sprint; Hamilton fifth

Valtteri Bottas won Formula 1's second sprint qualifying race at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, beating Max Verstappen, with Lewis Hamilton fifth after making a poor start from alongside Bottas.

Italian GP: Bottas beats Verstappen in F1 sprint; Hamilton fifth

Daniel Ricciardo finished third for McLaren ahead of his teammate Lando Norris, who kept Hamilton at bay for the duration of the race, which was disrupted by a first-lap crash for 2020 Monza winner Pierre Gasly.

The result means Verstappen will start Sunday's grand prix from the front of the grid, with Ricciardo alongside him on the front row, as Bottas will drop to the rear of the field for taking a fresh Mercedes engine before Friday evening qualifying.

At the start, Bottas led easily away from pole, pursued by Verstappen, as Hamilton's slow getaway meant he was forced to defend against Norris's run to the inside of the first corner.

The world champion was then swamped by Ricciardo and Gasly on his left-hand side and as the pack closed together for the first corners Hamilton was squeezed behind the AlphaTauri and Norris on his right to drop to fifth by Turn 2's exit.

As Bottas, Verstappen and Ricciardo ran clear through the long Curve Grande, Gasly, who had briefly tagged the McLaren's left-rear and damaged his front wing as a result, shot off into the gravel when his wing broke apart and went underneath his front wheels.

Gasly skated across the gravel on the outside and crashed into the barriers, bouncing back into the gravel before coming to a stop where the Frenchman climbed out.

The incident meant the safety car was called – just after a clash between Yuki Tsunoda and Robert Kubica between the two apexes of the della Roggia chicane spun the latter around – as Gasly's car was recovered.

The race restarted on lap four of 18, with Bottas romping clear to a 1.6s lead over Verstappen, with Hamilton chasing the two McLarens – both on the soft tyres versus the mediums on the two leaders and the second Mercedes.

As Norris held Hamilton at bay, even as DRS was activated at the start of lap six, Ricciardo quickly fell away from Bottas and Verstappen.

The leaders were the only drivers able to lap in the 1m23s and by lap 10 they were over five seconds clear of Ricciardo.

Bottas and Verstappen exchanged fastest laps, but the Mercedes' advantage never looked under threat as the gap fluctuated towards and then back from the two-second mark approaching the two-thirds-completed mark.

The leading duo continued to pull away from Ricciardo over the rest of the race, with Bottas in command up front – eventually winning by 2.3s.

Ricciardo came home 14.5s behind the winner, with Norris defying Hamilton, who at times was sliding around dramatically in his countryman's wake, to the flag, where Hamilton ended up 20-seconds behind his victorious teammate.

Charles Leclerc led home his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz in sixth and seventh – the former recovering from feeling unwell at the end of FP2 to take the start of the sprint race from eighth, where he climbed from in the first lap melee at the opening turns.

Sainz, who's Ferrari had been hastily rebuilt after his heavy FP2 crash at Ascari, came home where he started and ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi.

The Alfa Romeo driver held off the charging Sergio Perez to the finish, with the Red Bull driver involved in the race's other main flashpoint – his attempts to pass Aston Martin's Lance Stroll on lap nine.

After attacking to the outside of Turn 1, Perez cut across the raised kerbs in the runoff beyond and stayed ahead as the pair raced towards Curve Grande.

Red Bull ordered him to give the place back, which he did approaching Ascari on the same lap, and on the next tour Perez pulled off a similar move at Turn 1 to get in front of Stroll and then start his ultimately fruitless pursuit of Giovinazzi.

Stroll finished 10th ahead of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

Tsunoda pitted after his clash with Kubica and recovered back up the order to finish 16th with Kimi Raikkonen's temporary replacement at Alfa Romeo coming home between the Haas cars in 18th, as Gasly was the race's only retirement.

Cla Driver Chassis Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes  
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 2.325
3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 14.534
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 18.835
5 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 20.011
6 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 23.442
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 27.952
8 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 31.089
9 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 31.680
10 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 38.671
11 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 39.795
12 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 41.177
13 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 43.373
14 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 45.977
15 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 46.821
16 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 49.977
17 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 1'02.599
18 Poland Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo 1'05.096
19 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 1'06.154
20 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri  
shares
comments
Italian GP's F1 sprint qualifying race as it happened

Previous article

Italian GP's F1 sprint qualifying race as it happened

Next article

Hamilton expecting "easy win" for Verstappen in Italian GP

Hamilton expecting "easy win" for Verstappen in Italian GP
Load comments
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021