This weekend at Monza sees the return of the F1 Sprint format – and that means qualifying took place on Friday evening instead of the usual Saturday afternoon slot.
Qualifying sets the grid for the Sprint, with the finishing order from that 18-lap dash then setting the starting order for the Grand Prix itself – and it’s Valtteri Bottas who will start P1 in the Sprint after nailing his final Q3 lap.
QUALIFYING REPORT: Bottas beats Hamilton in Monza qualifying to claim top grid slot for F1 Sprint
The Mercedes man went quicker than team mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, with the McLarens of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo in an impressive fourth and fifth.
Although there were no red flags or stoppages during the hour it wasn’t quite a clean session with the drivers desperate to get a tow – worth around 0.7s a lap here – and thus fighting not to be first out on track, leading to a tricky moment in the pit lane when several cars had near misses as they left their garages. Hit play on the video above to see that and all the action from qualifying at Monza…