With only eight rounds remaining and little to separate the title race, the pressure is ratcheting up for crash-prone protagonists Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton topped the final practice at the Italian Grand Prix ahead of Saturday’s Sprint, but Carlos Sainz will be lucky to take part in the short race after a high-speed crash.

Sainz lost control of the rear of his Ferrari powering over the left-hand curb entering the Ascari chicane, punching his car into the barrier at speed. The front of his car was wiped off in the collision, and the Spaniard came to rest spun backwards shortly down the road.

“That hurt a bit, but I’m OK,” a winded Sainz radioed back to his pit wall as the session was suspended to clear the wreckage. He was cleared of injury by the medical center, though he will be examined a second time half an hour after the session.

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Lewis Hamilton set the quickest time in first practice at the Italian Grand Prix before qualifying later today for Saturday’s sprint. The Mercedes driver’s best time of 1m20.926s was 0.452s better than title rival Max Verstappen’s fastest time despite the Briton using the medium tire to the Dutchman’s softs.

Teammate Valtteri Bottas ended the practice hour third and another half-second behind Verstappen’s Red Bull, also on the medium compound.

Mercedes was the only team not to use at least two different compounds through the hour, with each of the Black Arrows burning through two sets of mediums across more than 26 laps.

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Lewis Hamilton snatched top spot from home hero Max Verstappen by less than a tenth of a second in F1’s first timed session at Zandvoort for the Dutch Grand Prix.

The Briton set his best time, a 1m11.500s, late in the hour after most of the session was lost to a protracted stopped to recover Sebastian Vettel’s broken Aston Martin car.

Vettel had reported an MGU-K problem on his first foray around the track and promptly returned to pit lane for a check-up, but when he was deployed to the circuit little more than 10 minutes later his car lasted barely another lap before its Mercedes power unit failed on the start-finish straight, trailing fluid before griding to a halt at pit exit.

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Esteban Ocon won his maiden grand prix, but an exhausted Lewis Hamilton left Hungary happiest, having turned a once massive title deficit into a slender lead.

Lewis Hamilton is not only poised to take grand prix victory 100 when he starts the Hungarian Grand Prix from pole, but the Briton is facing the unlikely chance to retake the championship lead from Max Verstappen in time for the midseason break.

Lewis Hamilton is in the box seat to claim a century of Formula 1 victories and reclaim the championship lead after taking pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to the front of the grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix for a 101st pole position.

Max Verstappen, the title leader for Red Bull Racing, could manage only third, 0.421s off the pace.

Hamilton was in control throughout the top-10 shootout, setting three purple sectors to snatch provisional pole with his first lap ahead of Bottas and Verstappen, but the Dutchman felt he lacked grip with his first set of tires, and his lap time was slower than his best from Q2.

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Lewis Hamilton edged Max Verstappen by just 0.088s in final practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix after the session was suspended following a heavy crash by Mick Schumacher.

The title rivals set their times in a frantic final nine-minute dash for qualifying-representative times after teams lost eight minutes to Schumacher’s crash with a quarter of an hour remaining.

Schumacher had been embarking on a final qualifying simulation of his own when he lost the rear of his Haas car at the right-hand Turn 11, sliding off the circuit and smacking heavily sideways into the tire barrier.

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Lewis Hamilton emerged from the controversial British Grand Prix with a greatly reduced title deficit, but his crash with Max Verstappen has changed more than just the title arithmetic.

A rivalry for the ages. Max Verstappen ends up in the wall but Lewis Hamilton is back in the hunt after an unforgettable British Grand Prix.

Featuring ESPN F1 editor Laurence Edmondson.

The titanic Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen championship tussle took a controversial turn at the British Grand Prix, where Hamilton emerged victorious despite a penalty for putting Verstappen out of the race on the first lap.

Lewis Hamilton has controversially won the British Grand Prix punting title rival Max Verstappen into a 51G crash on the first lap.

Lewis Hamilton took victory in the British Grand Prix in a thrilling late dash after crashing into title leader Max Verstappen in a huge first-lap crash at Silverstone.

The two championship contenders touched as they went side by side into Copse, but the Dutchman came off worst, sent spearing over the gravel and into the barriers in a 51G smash. He emerged seemingly unhurt from the crash, but Red Bull Racing confirmed during the race that he has been taken to a nearby hospital for precautionary checks.

The crash was the culmination of a half-lap of intense battling between pole-getter Verstappen and Hamilton, who started alongside him on the front row.

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Lewis Hamilton has topped his first qualifying session in five races in a nailbiting hour at the British Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton will start F1’s first-ever sprint race from the front of the grid after edging title leader Max Verstappen in a tense qualifying session at the British Grand Prix.

Hamilton was unfancied to top the session after Mercedes showed poorly in opening practice, but the Briton built his way into the session until his first lap in Q3 put him convincingly in provisional P1 by more than 0.15s ahead of Verstappen.

And there was more to come from the reigning world champion, although his afternoon almost came undone through the final turns. Spurred by his boisterous home fans, he set two more purple sectors on his final flying lap but lost the rear of the car in Vale, losing all the time he’d gained.

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Lewis Hamilton reasserted Mercedes’s credentials at the top of the time sheet with the fastest lap of second practice at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton struggled to string together a competitive time without exceeding track limits during the morning session, but with a fresh set of softs in the afternoon the Briton logged a time of 1m04.523s. His teammate, Valtteri Bottas, followed 0.189s behind, while Max Verstappen, quickest in FP1, was third and 0.217s off the pace.

The unsettled weather that has dominated the Red Bull Ring since Formula 1 arrived in Austria last week threatened to break shortly after the Dutchman set his quickest time a little after halfway through the 60-minute session, with rain affecting particularly in the first two sectors.

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Lewis Hamilton broke Max Verstappen’s practice streak by topping the final session ahead of qualifying at the Styrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s best time of 1m04.369s was 0.204s quicker than Verstappen’s best effort, although the Dutchman’s final flying lap, attempted in the final 10 minutes when the circuit was at its fastest, was hamstrung by traffic at Turn 3, leaving him 0.155s down in the first sector.

The bulk of Verstappen’s advantage over the weekend to date has been in the power-sensitive first sector, where his Honda power unit is best able to stretch its legs.

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