Valtteri Bottas claims pole position for the Sprint Qualifying race, with his teammate Lewis Hamilton completing the front row alongside him.

Qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix took place on Friday, as this weekend we will have one of the races that include the newly-introduced Sprint Qualifying format. According to the regulations of this format, only the soft (C4) compound can be used for the regular qualifying session.

The first two cars to go out in Q1 were Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, followed by Haas’ Mick Schumacher. The Monegasque set a lap time of 1:22.801 but quickly fell down the order as he reported issues with his braking, being told to pit by his team.

Lewis Hamilton topped the charts early with a time of 1:20.453, followed by his teammate Valtteri Bottas in second with a gap of +0.261.

Max Verstappen struggled to set the fastest lap during his first attempt as he went wide and touched the gravel. His next laps continued with struggle as the Dutchman was impeded by slow-moving traffic, but then managed to set a lap time of 1:21.219, sitting third behind Bottas.

What the ****. Unbelievable man. What the **** are they doing?! All three of them, man.

Max Verstappen on the radio after being impeded by slow-moving traffic

The Q1 session finished with Hamilton on top, Bottas second by a gap of +0.142, and Lando Norris third by a gap of +0.373, with Verstappen dropping to third. George Russell made it through Q2 as Yuki Tsunoda’s lap time was deleted, dropping him out of qualifying.

Both Red Bull cars went out first for the Q2 session but failed to set good laps, with Verstappen and Perez sitting 6th and 10th respectively after their first run. It was Hamilton and Bottas who once again topped the charts early, with McLaren’s Lando Norris behind them.

After a waiting game, the entire 15 cars went out of the pits at the same time with about 3 minutes to go. Chaos filled the pit lane as an Aston Martin crossed the path and almost made contact with the Mercedes of Hamilton, and Verstappen, angry for the situation, overtook 4 cars coming out of the lane.

In the end, Hamilton topped the Q2 session with a time of 1:19.936, with Bottas behind by a gap of +0.096 and Norris third once again by a gap of +0.123, ahead of Verstappen. This session saw both Aston Martins and Alpines eliminated, with Russell finishing 15th.

Hamilton set the fastest lap of Q3 in the early stages, with a time of 1:19.949, and Verstappen managed to improve from the previous sessions and set the second-fastest lap by a gap of +0.017 to the Mercedes driver.

In the end, it was Valtteri Bottas who performed the fastest lap of the session with a 1:19.555, with his teammate Lewis Hamilton behind by a gap of +0.096 and Max Verstappen third by a gap of +0.411.

Here’s the starting grid for tomorrow’s Sprint Qualifying race:

1Valtteri BottasMercedesLeader
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes+0.096
3Max VerstappenRed Bull+0.411
4Lando NorrisMcLaren+0.434
5Daniel RicciardoMcLaren+0.440
6Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri+0.705
7Carlos SainzFerrari+0.907
8Charles LeclercFerrari+0.955
9Sergio PerezRed Bull+1.056
10Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo+1.253
11Sebastian VettelAston Martin
12Lance StrollAston Martin
13Fernando AlonsoAlpine
14Esteban OconAlpine
15George RussellWilliams
16Nicholas LatifiWilliams
17Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri
18Mick SchumacherHaas
19Robert KubicaAlfa Romeo
20Nikita MazepinHaas

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