Formula 1

Verstappen sprints to Pole win, Alonso Stars in First Sprint Qualifying

2 Mins read
Credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images

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.

133Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing Honda1725:38.4263
244Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team17
377Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team17+7.502s1
416Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow17
54Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team17+24.111s0
63Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team17+30.959s0
714Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team17
85Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team17+44.439s0
963George RussellGBRWilliams F1 Team17+46.652s0
1031Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team17+47.395s0
1155Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow17+47.798s0
1210Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda17+48.763s0
137Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN17+50.677s0
1418Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team17+52.179s0
1599Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN17+53.225s0
1622Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda17+53.567s0
176Nicolas LatifiCANWilliams F1 Team17+55.162s0
1847Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team17+68.213s0
199Nikita MazepinRUSUralkali Haas F1 Team17+77.648s0
2011Sergio PérezMEXRed Bull Racing Honda16DNF0
Final Result
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About author
Michael is a young writer from Drogheda in Ireland. He has watched Formula 1 since 2010 and fell in love with Formula 1 after the Canadian Grand Prix in 2011. He previously hosted a little known podcast called "The Commentary Box" for 4 years on Belfield FM. He is a newcomer to sports writing and cut his teeth in with Political Opinion pieces in his college newspaper. He won the 2021 SPARC Journalism Award for Best Political Piece and hopes to build on his achievements over time.
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