For the second time this season, the sprint classification system was put to the test during the Italian Grand Prix.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas' Valtteri Bottas won, while Red Bull's Max Verstappen finished second, adding two points to his total for the race and also securing pole position for tomorrow after it was revealed that Bottas would be penalised and will start at the back of the grid.
Post-sprint race, Verstappen comments, "To be on pole tomorrow at a track like this is a real positive for us, we had a good start and the race went better than expected. We scored a few championship points and it’s great to be starting at the front tomorrow. I was giving it my all to keep close to Valtteri today, but I still expect a tough race tomorrow as Lewis is starting in P4 and they have a bit more pace than us, we know we are slower than the Mercedes here. I’m hoping for another clean start tomorrow so I can create a bit of a gap at the beginning, because I will definitely need it later in the race. It’s going to be an interesting battle and we’ll see what happens, we’ll keep pushing and try to make the most out of it."
Sergio Perez, on the other hand, had a difficult start and fell to P10, but he recovered to P9 at the finish and will start the race from the eighth position on the grid.
According to Perez, post-sprint race, he comments, "I think we have a good chance in the race tomorrow, we start P8 and there should be more opportunities to come through the field with our strategy. I was hoping to gain a few more places, but my start wasn’t ideal and it was pretty hard to pass. We need to work hard tonight to find some more pace, but I am looking forward to it. On the incident with Stroll, I just didn’t have anywhere to go so had to cut the corner to avoid hitting the curb and damaging my race, I gave back the position as soon as I was able to.”