World championship chief Max Verstappen received Formula One’s inaugural sprint race on Saturday to take pole position for the British Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver completed the 100km sprint round Silverstone forward of defending world champion Lewis Hamilton with Valtteri Bottas within the second Mercedes in third place.
READ | LANDO NORRIS ‘SHAKEN’ AFTER MUGGING OF R800 000 WATCH AT EURO 2020 FINAL
Verstappen went into the weekend with a 32-point lead over seven-time champion Hamilton who’s hoping to seize an eighth British Grand Prix triumph on Sunday.
“We were pushing each other hard as the tyres were blistering a lot,” mentioned Verstappen who collected three factors for his win.
Hamilton took two and Bottas one.
“I am happy to have scored the three points and it is funny to say I have scored the pole position too, but we’ll take it,” added the Dutchman.
Hamilton began the 17-lap sprint on the entrance of the grid having topped qualifying on Friday however was instantly handed by Verstappen.
He admitted he’ll face a battle to safe a 99th career win in entrance of round 90 000 followers on Sunday with the principle occasion raced over 52 laps.
“First of all, let me say thank you to the fans, their energy is amazing,” he mentioned.
“I gave it everything today, I’m just sorry I couldn’t win it for them. Tomorrow we will fight again, but Red Bull are just so strong.”
He added: “Verstappen was pulling away and there was nothing I could do to hold on to him. Their starts have been great this year and we’ve lost a bit on our starts and losing position is never a good thing – I wish we could do the start again.”
Bottas shared Hamilton’s lack of optimism for Sunday.
“We tried to do something different and the target was to try and get Verstappen in the first lap. It didn’t happen,” mentioned the Finn.
“Today reveals that tomorrow will not be going to be straightforward. If it’s going to be a bit hotter, then we would see extra points.
The remainder of the highest 10 was made up of Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari in fourth, Britain’s Lando Norris, in a McLaren, in fifth, and teammate Daniel Ricciardo simply behind.
Two-time champion Fernando Alonso, behind the wheel of an Alpine, shrugged off his 39 years to climb to seventh on the grid.
Behind him are four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel within the Aston Martin, Williams’ George Russell and Esteban Ocon within the second Alpine.
Saturday’s sprint qualifying race was the first of three deliberate for this year.
Another will comply with on the Italian Grand Prix in September with the third venue nonetheless to be confirmed.
Grid for Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone:
Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull-Honda)
Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)
Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes)
Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari)
Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes)
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes)
Fernando Alonso (ESP/Alpine-Renault)
Sebastian Vettel (GER/Aston Martin-Mercedes)
George Russell (GBR/Williams-Mercedes)
Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault)
Carlos Sainz (ESP/Ferrari)
Pierre Gasly (FRA/AlphaTauri-Honda)
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari)
Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes)
Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari)
Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Honda)
Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams-Mercedes)
Mick Schumacher (GER/Haas-Ferrari)
Nikita Mazepin (RUS/Haas-Ferrari)
Sergio Perez (MEX/Red Bull-Honda)