Thursday, October 28

Verstappen makes history by winning the first sprint race at Silverstone

  • The World Cup leader beats Hamilton at home and will start from pole first this Sunday

  • Alonso does ‘magic’ at the start to reach 7th place on the grid while Sainz, rammed by Russell, finishes 11th

Max verstappen has made history in Silverstone by imposing itself on the Formula 1 sprint qualifying race. An experimental format that has premiered at the Great Britain Grand Prix and that in addition to awarding points to the first three classified (3, 2 and 1), it has decided the ‘pole’ and the order of the grid for Sunday (4:00 p.m.).

Before the race, to 17 laps (100 km), about a third of the usual distance, Verstappen and Lewis hamilton they had already ‘warmed up’ the pulse they maintain in the championship. The Dutchman, who now leads the general with 33 points more than the British, commanded the two free sessions, but Hamilton dominated Friday’s qualifying and made sure to start in front this Saturday. At this point you had to choose: Was it worth taking risks or was a conservative strategy better to take the rest on Sunday in the main race?

The start, of vertigo, has cleared all doubts. Hamilton has been ‘nailed’ and Verstappen has won the position. The Englishman, with great anger, has launched a withering attack on his rival in a maneuver to the limit, without calculating the possible consequences that a touch would have had. Fortunately both have endured the type. Max has retained his advantage, with the two Mercedes of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in his wake and Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) in fourth place.

The magic of Alonso

Fernando Alonso has returned to do ‘magic’ at the start and has climbed to fifth position with the Alpine after starting 11th. Spectacular. The Asturian, aware of the weaknesses of his car against Ferraris or McLaren, has played it at the beginning to try to improve his position on the grid tomorrow. Lando norris Y Daniel Ricciardo have left him behind unceremoniously, but still Alonso has fulfilled his objective and will come out seventh. A well deserved reward. “I intended to go off the track and overtake there, because as they all go out in the first round … In the end it was not necessary, but I was not going to lift“, explained the Asturian.

Carlos Sainz, which has received the impact of George Russell at the start, he was relegated to 18th place and had to tackle a difficult comeback to finish in 11th position.

Experiment with the future?

The new grand prix format that has been put to the test at Silverstone with the sprint race on Saturday and the traditional long race on Sunday, will be analyzed in detail and repeated, probably with some changes, in Monza me Interlagos this same year. Among the pilots there is a division of opinions, but the first impression is positive and it seems that if the formula is successful it could end up being definitively implanted in the 2022 calendar.

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For now, on Friday, a day that often goes unnoticed by fans, he brought together 90,000 spectators in the stands to attend the early time trial, much more attractive than the usual free rounds (FP1 and FP2). Of course, for the leader Verstappen, the classification lost all its incentive. “It is a bit strange to do a ‘qualy’ in which there is nothing at stake, not even the ‘pole’,” he valued. This Saturday, much more satisfied after hanging the first laurel wreath around his neck in 35 years, ‘Mad Max’ has celebrated his ‘pole’ and has warned that this Sunday he and his Red Bull can be “even stronger”.

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