LIVE Sprint Qualifying | Will Mercedes hold on to front-row lockout?

11-09-2021 15:00
by GPblog.com
Liveblog
LIVE Sprint Qualifying | Will Mercedes hold on to front-row lockout?

After an eventful qualifying session on Friday it is now time for the second sprint race of the 2021 Formula 1 season. While Max Verstappen won the first sprint race at Silverstone, the Dutchman seems to be facing a bigger challenge this time around. Can he do it again?

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With a time of 1.19.996 Verstappen had to settle for third place on the grid for yesterday's sprint, a fact that the driver himself wasn't too sorry about. The Italian Autodromo Monza has long been a circuit where Mercedes calls the shots.

With free choice of tyres and no pitstops the Dutchman will try to take on the Mercedes from the second row of the grid. He will face both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton in his battle for the lead, something that will not be the case on Sunday due to Bottas' grid penalty.

Downforce advantage?

Despite the fact that the Dutchman will generally not be able to outperform the Mercedes on the straights, Red Bull's engineers have focused on downforce to try and close the gap in the corners. This means that Verstappen could well edge ahead in the first corners of the sprint, as he did earlier in Silverstone.

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