World champion Max Verstappen won Formula One’s first sprint on Saturday to take pole position for the British Grand Prix but admitted it was a “strange” experience. Watch the race live from midnight AEST!
The Red Bull driver completed the 100km race around Silverstone ahead of reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton alongside Valtteri Bottas in second Mercedes in third place.
Verstappen currently has a 33-point lead over seven-time champion Hamilton, who is hoping to secure an eighth British Grand Prix win on Sunday.
Verstappen, who collected three points for his victory after being 1.4 seconds ahead of his opponent, said: “We pushed each other hard because the tires were blistered a lot.
Hamilton took two and Bottas one.
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“When I crossed the line after this race and I was told, ‘Good job, you have pole position’. It’s a little bit weird,” the Dutch star added as he reflected on the new format on Saturday.
“The great thing is that you start with less fuel, so the cars are a bit faster and livelier” to complete 17 laps instead of the 52 laps they would have to cover for the “real” race. “.
Hamilton started a 17-lap sprint at the front of the grid at the top of qualifying on Friday but was immediately overtaken by Verstappen.
He admits he will face a battle to get his 99th career win in front of some 90,000 fans.
Ricciardo will start in sixth, just behind team-mate Lando Norris after finishing a “quite fun” sprint.
“It’s been pretty good fun,” Aussie told her team.
“Obviously the finish was pretty quick, but Alonso had a good start which made our race a bit more interesting, so I enjoyed. The first ten rounds were hectic, I think that’s great, so I hope the fans enjoy it.
“I don’t know what it’s like around us, but I hope the order will change a bit. I’ve landed a position and started in a better place tomorrow than I did today. That’s the goal for today, so I’m looking forward to playing and fighting more tomorrow. “
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