A beautiful pole to victory drive from Bottas who claims 3 championship points for Mercedes. Unfortunately, the Finn will not claim pole due to a penalty he must serve this weekend with his new power unit upgrade.
Post FP2 crash, Carlos Sainz made it back onto the grid to the delight of the Italian fans. The Ferrari was back on form finishing the sprint race 7th which means he’ll start 6th for tomorrow’s GP.
Here is how the sprint race played out:
The lights went green and Hamilton got off to a disastrous start as he dropped 4 places. McLaren drivers Norris and Ricciardo profited by making elusive moves past the Mercedes as Ricciardo claimed 3rd and Norris moved into 4th.
Max Verstappen moved up into second place as Bottas headed straight into the first chicane in the lead.
Meanwhile down in 6th, Pierre Gasly’s front wing was clipped coming into the first chicane which caused more damage than he expected.
Gasly sped off into turn 3 and 4 but his front wing let go shooting underneath his front axle and flying out behind him as debris.
The Frenchman was left with next to zero front downforce as he tried to turn in but his car didn’t respond and the AlphaTauri shot off track into the barriers.
Gasly was OK and the track was yellow flagged with the safety car deployed.
Tsunoda also came too close to the back of Robert Kubica’s Alfa Romeo causing the Polish driver to spin into the gravel.
With a bit of gas the reserve driver was able to accelerate out and rejoin the race.
Moving into lap 3 the safety car returned to the pits and the cars were racing again at full speed.
Bottas out front started to pull ahead of Max creating a 1.5 sec gap heading into lap 6. The initial game plan for Mercedes was to swap Hamilton and Bottas after the start to secure championship points for Hamilton.
But as soon as Hamilton dropped positions at the beginning, it was all Bottas until the end.
Meanwhile Hamilton, still in 5th, tried to stay in contact with the 4th placed McLaren of Lando Norris. But no matter how close he got to Norris’ orange machine into the first chicane, there was still no way around.
The standings stayed as it were for the rest of the race due to the difficult overtaking nature of Monza. Out of turn 11 and onto the main straight was a continuous DRS train with only Perez able to maximise his chances by getting past Stroll for 9th.
Perez had two attempts at overtaking stroll, the first of which he went through the corner and over the rumble strips rather than around it causing his team to direct him to give the place back to stroll.
That did not last long as Perez came back the next lap and overtook his former teammate on the same corner (cleanly this time).
Bottas went on to win the sprint race but seen as Mercedes are upgrading his power unit for the 4th time this season, he will not claim pole position and will start from 20th on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
That means that Max inherited pole position and 3rd placed Daniel Ricciardo makes his move onto the front grid for the first time since Mexico in 2018.
No matter how many times he tried, Hamilton couldn’t make it past Norris so will start on the second row of the grid next to the McLaren.
Here are the results from the sprint after 18 laps (with everyone moving up one spot on the grid for tomorrows race.):
Featured image source: twitter.com/f1