Verstappen beats Hamilton to win F1’s first-ever sprint race

Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton off the line to win Formula 1’s first-ever sprint qualifying race and claim pole position for Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB16B.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB16B.

The Red Bull driver snatched the lead from Hamilton at the start and controlled the 17-lap, sprint to the finish to secure his fifth pole of the season and extend his world championship lead to 33 points.

Despite his brakes being on fire on the grid, Verstappen made a stunning start to bolt into the lead ahead of his main title rival heading into Abbey.

Hamilton immediately tried to fight back but Verstappen shut the door into Brooklands and again at Copse as the seven-time world champion looked to make an ambitious move around the outside.

Following a thrilling opening lap, Verstappen slowly opened up the gap to Hamilton on his way to becoming F1’s first-ever sprint race winner and bag the extra three world championship points on offer.

Hamilton reduced the gap to Verstappen to 1.4s on the last lap but ultimately had to settle for second. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas completed the top three, having been unable to make up ground despite being the only frontrunner to use the soft tyre.

Charles Leclerc retained fourth for Ferrari, ahead of the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, both of whom had to fightback to overtake a fast-starting Fernando Alonso.

The two-time world champion was one of the biggest winners of the new sprint format, having made up an incredible six places on a stunning first lap as one of the drivers to gamble on softs.

Alonso ran as high as fifth but was picked off by the McLaren pair as he fended off former title rival Sebastian Vettel’s late attack to secure seventh place on the grid for Alpine.

George Russell dropped two places at the start but survived first-lap contact with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to take ninth, while Esteban Ocon rounded out the top-10 for Alpine.

The two Haas drivers came together at the start, leaving Nikita Mazepin in a spin as he finished last.

Sergio Perez suffered a miserable race as he lost positions early on, before dropping out of the points with a high-speed spin at the exit of Chapel. Red Bull ultimately decided to retire his car with the Mexican running 19th.

Full British Grand Prix sprint qualifying race results.

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