The first ever Formula 1 Sprint Race ran on Saturday for seventeen laps around a scorching hot Silverstone. The first racing action on a Saturday since Kyalami, South Africa in 1985. Teams were allowed free choice of tyres to start on as the majority of drivers chose to start on the mediums, but Valtteri Bottas, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon and Kimi Raikkonen chose to start on the quicker, racier soft tyres.
Max Verstappen’s brakes were aflame as he took off from second on the grid and jumped Lewis Hamilton by the end of the straight that is named after him. Thereafter, there was Incredible battling throughout the first lap between the two championship protagonists, Verstappen and Hamilton.
A mostly clean first lap if you discount the usual spin for Nikita Mazepin. Fernando Alonso managed to get up six places into fifth place on the first lap with some absolutely beautiful racing that showed the old dog still has it. George Russell and Carlos Sainz Jr. came together in a racing incident which forced Sainz well down the order.
On Lap seven, Sergio Pérez spun into at the exit of Becketts due to him following in the dirty air of the cars in front. Pérez managed to limp back onto the track but definitely with some damage. On the same lap Lando Norris managed to pass Alonso for fifth. His McLaren F1 Team team-mate Daniel Ricciardo managed to do the same three laps later into Village for sixth place.
Pérez retired his car on the last lap so that his team could make some repairs for the race tomorrow. Max Verstappen came out on top of the sprint in the end, taking Pole Position for tomorrow, taking three points in the championship, followed by the two Mercedes behind.
Very impressive racing from Charles Leclerc as he managed to keep clear of the McLaren’s behind and stay tight to the faster Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team car of Bottas in front, who was also on faster tyres. The same can be said for Russell who was able to keep in a similar position to where he qualified for once. Sainz was impressively able to find his way back towards the top ten and the Scuderia Ferrari‘s will be confident of a great race tomorrow provided there isn’t any major issues or accidents. Both Alpine F1 Team drivers will be delighted with their performances too, and it’s looking like there will be a huge battle between the midfield teams.
We learned from today that tomorrow’s race is definitely going to be difficult to do with just one pit stop, as the heat was causing tyres to blister by lap thirteen. Red Bull Racing seemed to be particularly worried about tyre wear so Mercedes will be keeping that in mind as well on Sunday.
We also have learned that this format is incredibly exciting as every driver raced hard and their true abilites were shown.
UPDATE: Post race penalty for Russell for his first lap tangle with Sainz – he will take a three-place grid drop on Sunday and start twelfth instead of ninth.
|1||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull Racing Honda||17||25:38.426||3|
|2||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||17|
|3||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||17||+7.502s||1|
|4||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow||17|
|5||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||17||+24.111s||0|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||17||+30.959s||0|
|7||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Alpine F1 Team||17|
|8||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||17||+44.439s||0|
|9||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams F1 Team||17||+46.652s||0|
|10||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Alpine F1 Team||17||+47.395s||0|
|11||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow||17||+47.798s||0|
|12||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||17||+48.763s||0|
|13||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||17||+50.677s||0|
|14||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||17||+52.179s||0|
|15||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||17||+53.225s||0|
|16||22||Yuki Tsunoda||JAP||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||17||+53.567s||0|
|17||6||Nicolas Latifi||CAN||Williams F1 Team||17||+55.162s||0|
|18||47||Mick Schumacher||GER||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||17||+68.213s||0|
|19||9||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||17||+77.648s||0|
|20||11||Sergio Pérez||MEX||Red Bull Racing Honda||16||DNF||0|