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Hamilton suffers sprint shocker as Verstappen to start on Italian GP pole

Hamilton suffers sprint shocker as Verstappen to start on Italian GP pole

F1 News

Hamilton suffers sprint shocker as Verstappen to start on Italian GP pole

Hamilton suffers sprint shocker as Verstappen to start on Italian GP pole

Lewis Hamilton's shocking getaway in F1's second sprint trial of the season has put him on the back foot going into the Italian Grand Prix in which Max Verstappen will start from pole position.

Although Valtteri Bottas claimed victory from the front of the field, the Finn will drop to the back of the grid for the race after incurring a raft of penalties for a penalty unit change.

It means Verstappen will start from pole, and he has a buffer between himself and Hamilton of McLaren duo Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris.

Ricciardo's front-row start will be McLaren's first since the 2018 Mexican GP.

That is because from second on the grid at Monza for the 18-lap, 100km event, while Bottas got off to a flier, Hamilton went backwards.

The seven-time F1 champion dropped to sixth behind title rival Verstappen, the McLaren duo, as well as Pierre Gasly in his Alpha Tauri.

Through the first chicane, however, Gasly clipped the rear-left tyre of Ricciardo's MCL35M, slightly dislodging his front wing.

Hurtling through the Curva Grande, and given the G-forces, the wing broke free and lodged itself underneath Gasly's car, sending him across the gravel and into a barrier, sparking a safety car.

Just as that had been summoned, towards the rear of the field, Alfa Romeo's Robert Kubica, standing in at a second race weekend for the Covid-hit Kimi Raikkonen, spun following minor contact with the second AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda.

That forced the Japanese driver to pit for a new front wing, relegating him to the back of the pack.

After two full laps behind the safety car, the racing commenced again, with Bottas bolting clear of Verstappen, leaving a fifth-placed Hamilton to attack Norris.

The problem for Hamilton, however, was like with Bottas and Verstappen, he started the race on the medium tyres, compared to the soft-shod McLarens.

While Hamilton managed to get close on the run to the first chicane, he was never in a position to attack, and could only cross the line fifth, and will start fourth.

With Verstappen second in the sprint, claiming two points, he now has a five-point lead over Hamilton going into the grand prix.

Behind the leading quintet, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished sixth and seventh respectively.

Ferrari had endured an anxious time during the period after second practice, notably after Sainz crashed for the third time in the build-up to a fourth grand prix.

But the team managed to conduct the repairs in the additional 90 minutes that is now allotted between FP2 and the sprint compared to just two hours on a normal Saturday between FP3 and qualifying.

There was also concern for Leclerc, who had been forced to finish FP2 a few minutes early as he was feeling 'slightly unwell', according to the team.

But the duo came through the race and will line up fifth and sixth on the grid thanks to Bottas' penalties.

Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi, Red Bull's Sergio Perez and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll completed the top 10, although they, too, will all shuffle up a place.

As for the rest of the grid, Alpine duo Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon will start 10th and 12th, either side of Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel.

Williams' Nicholas Latifi follows in front of team-mate George Russell, with Tsunonda to line up 15th ahead of Haas' Nikita Mazepin, Kubica and the second Haas of Mick Schumacher, with Gasly 19th.

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