Max qualifies third for Saturday sprint: 'Happy with P3'
Published on 10 September 2021 by Stefan Meens
Max Verstappen qualified in third place for the Saturday sprint of the Italian Grand Prix. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas will start first, ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.
“It’s always difficult here for us and the first practice didn’t go as smooth as we wanted, but I think we recovered fairly well in qualifying”, said Max. “Prior to the session I hoped for the second row, so I’m quite happy with third. It’s just a really strong track for Mercedes. You can also tell how close McLaren are. They’ve got it together. We might not, but that’s okay, you have to live with it.”
Ahead of tomorrow’s sprint, Max said: “Hopefully it’s all a bit closer in the race. You never know what happens around here. We still have a second practice session so we’ll see if we can work on our long run pace. It won’t be easy for us on this circuit, but I’m confident we can score some good points.”
Q1 is a busy session with all cars out on track attempting to find a slipstream without being caught up in traffic. Max’ first two attempts are a bit messy with traffic prompting the Dutchman to do another lap. In the end, his third effort grants him P4 and a comfortable progression into the second part of qualifying.
Meanwhile, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, Alpha Tauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, Alfa Romeo’s Robert Kubica and the two Haas of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin all strand in Q1.
Q2 sees Max once again progress in fourth with Lewis Hamilton setting the pace. This time, the middle part of qualifying marks the end for the Aston Martins of Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll, the Alpines of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon and Williams’ George Russell.
In the final part of qualifying, Mercedes continue where they left off in the rest of the session by setting the pace. After his first run, Hamilton tops the timing sheets but Valtteri Bottas retaliates with a strong second attempt to take pole for the Saturday sprint.
Meanwhile, with little over three minutes to go, both Red Bulls leave the garage for their final timed efforts. Max is unable to improve on his banker lap and has to settle for third behind the two Mercedes, with McLaren’s Lando Norris just behind.
|3||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:21.035||1:20.229||1:19.966|
|4||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Mercedes||1:20.916||1:20.059||1:19.989|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||RIC||McLaren Mercedes||1:21.292||1:20.435||1:19.995|
|6||Pierre Gasly||GAS||AlphaTauri Honda||1:21.440||1:20.556||1:20.260|
|9||Sergio Perez||PER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:21.308||1:20.882||1:20.611|
|10||Antonio Giovinazzi||GIO||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:21.197||1:20.726||1:20.808|
|11||Sebastian Vettel||VET||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:21.394||1:20.913|
|12||Lance Stroll||STR||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:21.415||1:21.020|
|13||Fernando Alonso||ALO||Alpine Renault||1:21.487||1:21.069|
|14||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Alpine Renault||1:21.500||1:21.103|
|15||George Russell||RUS||Williams Mercedes||1:21.890||1:21.392|
|16||Nicholas Latifi||LAT||Williams Mercedes||1:21.925|
|17||Yuki Tsunoda||TSU||AlphaTauri Honda||1:21.973|
|18||Mick Schumacher||MSC||Haas Ferrari||1:22.248|
|19||Robert Kubica||KUB||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:22.530|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||MAZ||Haas Ferrari||1:22.716|