formula 1 First sprint race
Verstappen is crowned the premiere winner
Stand: 17.07.2021 | Reading time: 3 minutes
World Championship leader Max Verstappen has won the first Formula 1 sprint
Source: Getty Images / Mark Thompson
The triumphant of the first Formula 1 sprint is called Max Verstappen. The world championship leader leaves Lewis Hamilton behind and grabs pole position for the British Grand Prix in the horsepower experiment.
Mith a burning brake at his top start, Max Verstappen won the first Formula 1 sprint and secured pole position for the British Grand Prix. The world championship leader ousted local hero Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes with a lightning maneuver on Saturday in Silverstone to second place and received a wreath on the lap of honor in the truck. For Verstappen, who dominated the mini race over 17 laps, it was the fourth pole in a row and the eighth of his career.
Even before the Grand Prix in England on Sunday (4 p.m. / CEST / Sky), the 23-year-old scored the first three points of the weekend in the test format over 100 kilometers with a free choice of tires. “It’s difficult to overtake here. But we got off to a good start and we had a good fight with Lewis, ”said Verstappen. “It’s weird to get the Poles like that, but I like to take them with me.”
Hamilton got two more points, his team mate Valtteri Bottas dusted off in third place for the improved Mercedes team. The tactic of sending the Finn into the race with the softest tire compound in order to overtake Verstappen early on did not work. “We tried to do something different,” admitted Bottas, “but unfortunately it didn’t work.”
No trace of reluctance
Sebastian Vettel finished eighth in the Aston Martin, while Haas newcomer Mick Schumacher was 18th ahead of his stable rival Nikita Masepin. “It’s okay, maybe it could have been one more place,” said Vettel. And Hamilton said with a view to Verstappen: “I gave everything, but couldn’t do anything in the race to attack him.”
The main concern of the drivers and teams before the sprint was having a crash. An accident with damage to the car would have thrown the drivers back almost hopelessly for the Grand Prix. The audience got plenty of action – but only really at the start. After that, hardly any overtaking maneuvers were observed.
Schumacher and his Haas stable rival Masepin touched each other again. Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez even shot into the gravel trap in the sixth lap, but was still able to intercept his Red Bull. “Unfortunately we had contact, my car was broken on the side,” said Schumacher afterwards.
So there is no trace of restraint. “It is simply shot from the top,” announced Hamilton, who is Silverstone’s record winner with seven wins.
“Give me even more power”
In qualifying on Friday evening, he set the acclaimed fastest lap ahead of Verstappen and his Mercedes team-mate Bottas. It was the longed-for glimmer of hope for the Silver Arrows to be able to close the gap on Red Bull with the upgrades. “That was good progress,” said team boss Toto Wolff. “Maybe we unlocked a little something.”
Verstappen, on the other hand, set the fastest time in the two free practice sessions, but had to struggle with the balance between tire and brake temperature in qualifying. There was no sign of this in the sprint. “Give me even more power,” radioed pursuer Hamilton, who missed the start, to the Mercedes box. Verstappen drove the sprint premiere safely home with a lead of 1.43 seconds over the Englishman.
In the World Championship standings, Verstappen, who won the last three races, is now leading with 185 points. As the first pursuer, Hamilton has 33 points less.
Preview of Hamilton home game at Silverstone
For the tenth race of the season, Formula 1 stops at Silverstone. World champion Lewis Hamilton finally needs a win against Max Verstappen on Sunday. With the sprint qualifying, Formula 1 is also trying out a new format.