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Italian GP: Advantage Verstappen after dramatic Sprint

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Formula 1 World Championship leader Max Verstappen will start the Italian Grand Prix at the front of the grid despite finishing second in Saturday’s qualifying sprint.

Bottas wins sprint but won’t take pole

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas won the 18-lap Sprint at Monza ahead of Verstappen but had been condemned to start Sunday’s GP at the back of the grid after being penalised for taking on power unit components on Friday.

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Verstappen also claimed two championship points to extend his lead on Lewis Hamilton to five after the reigning champion finished fifth, some 20 seconds off the pace.

Hamilton started the sprint in second place behind Bottas but dropped back in the field after a dreadful start which will make his latest bid for a 100th GP win that much harder.

The seven-time F1 champion has been stuck on 99 wins since victory at the British GP in July, but after strong displays in both practices and qualifying, looked in the frame to bring up his century.

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However he will have his work cut out for him from the second row after both Verstappen and McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo came up either side of him to overtake right at the start.

Could have been worse for Hamilton

Pierre Gasly would have also have stolen a place on the Briton had he not then slid off the track at the first bend after making contact with Ricciardo.

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Just behind Hamilton in the third row will be Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who won at Monza in 2019 and is hoping for the home support to help push the Scuderia to another good result.

Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz will be alongside him after finishing seventh having crashed out of practice earlier on Saturday and then having to sweat on his car being repaired in time for the sprint.

Italian GP Sprint results

1 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 18 27:54.078 3
2 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA 18 +2.325s 2
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 18 +14.534s 1
4 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 18 +18.835s
5 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 18 +20.011s
6 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 18 +23.442s
7 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 18 +27.952s
8 99 Antonio Giovinazzi ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 18 +31.089s
9 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA 18 +31.680s
10 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 18 +38.671s
11 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 18 +39.795s
12 5 Sebastian Vettel ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 18 +41.177s
13 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 18 +43.373s
14 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 18 +45.977s
15 63 George Russell WILLIAMS MERCEDES 18 +46.821s
16 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA 18 +49.977s
17 9 Nikita Mazepin HAAS FERRARI 18 +62.599s
18 88 Robert Kubica ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 18 +65.096s
19 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 18 +66.154s

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