Max Verstappen will start the Italian Grand Prix from pole position after Saturday sprint winner Valtteri Bottas is handed a grid penalty for an engine change.

Valtteri Bottas scored a light-to-flag victory in the season’s second Saturday sprint, but an engine penalty will promote second-placed Max Verstappen to pole for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Bottas’s 18-lap race was completely untroubled after a clean launch from the line, though the same couldn’t be said for teammate Lewis Hamilton. Starting from the second row, the Briton sunk to fifth behind Verstappen and both McLaren cars with a tardy start that left him crowded into the first chicane.

Pierre Gasly got caught up in the crush. The Frenchman zipped around the fading Hamilton’s outside at Rettifilo but in the process nudged the back of Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren, breaking his front wing. The AlphaTauri’s wing collapsed and dropped beneath Gasly’s car as he powered through Curva Grande, sending him careening through the gravel and into the wall, causing a two-lap safety car.

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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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Valtteri Bottas will start the Italian Grand Prix sprint race from the head of the grid after beating Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to the quickest time of qualifying.

Valtteri Bottas will start the Saturday sprint at the Italian Grand Prix from pole position after just edging teammate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying.

The Finn started Q3 with a scruffy initial lap, leaving him fifth and 0.4s off Hamilton’s pace after dipping a wheel on the gravel at the Roggia chicane, but his second attempt was clinical, setting two purple sectors a the first to splits to beat Hamilton by just 0.069s.

Bottas is equipped with a brand-new power unit this weekend after Mercedes made a tactical change to sure up his allocation to the end of the season, which means the Finn will serve the back-of-grid penalty for Sunday’s race, but not before he gets an opportunity to score three points for a sprint victory beforehand.

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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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The Dutch Grand Prix couldn’t have gone any better for Max Verstappen and his legion home fans on a weekend Mercedes began the painful process of renewing its driver line-up.

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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The Belgian Grand Prix will be remembered as the shortest race in F1 history, declared after only two laps in torrential rain, but for George Russell it was the first podium finish of what is sure to be many more.

Valtteri Bottas put Mercedes on top in first practice for the Belgian Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.

The Finn was 0.164s quicker than the Dutchman, while title leader Lewis Hamilton languished in 18th after abandoning his flying lap in traffic.

The Briton had set a Verstappen-matching time up to the Bus Stop chicane, where he encountered Nicholas Latifi’s Williams. He attempted to pass around the outside assuming the Canadian would make way, but Latifi took the outside line apparently unaware of the other car, forcing Hamilton to back out and ruining the lap.

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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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Valtteri Bottas edged teammate Lewis Hamilton to the best time of FP2 at the Hungarian Grand Prix on a strong afternoon for Mercedes.

The Finn’s fastest time on the soft tire — a 1m17.012s — was just 0.027s quicker than Hamilton’s best effort thanks to purple splits in the first two sectors, surrendering time only in the final third of the lap.

Title leader Max Verstappen was third and 0.298s off the pace. The Dutchman struggled badly with balance in his Red Bull Racing machine with both the soft and the medium compounds.

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The dust may have settled on the dramatic on-track action of the British Grand Prix, but Red Bull Racing is still ratcheting up the tension in this tightening title fight.

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.