Bottas
Credit: Mercedes via Twitter (@MercedesAMGF1)

Valtteri Bottas cruised to victory in F1’s Sprint Qualifying, but it’s Max Verstappen who will start on pole as the Finn takes a grid penalty.

Off the line it was a good start from Bottas who maintained the lead, but just behind him teammate Lewis Hamilton was swallowed up by the pack and dropped to fifth.

The two McLaren’s of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris slotted into third and fourth, but it wasn’t long until the race was neutralised with a safety car as Pierre Gasly went off at Turn 3.

The Frenchman clipped the back of Ricciardo’s McLaren in the first chicane, which dislodged his front-wing and sent the Alpha Tauri into the barrier at Turn 3, Gasly was fortunately OK.

As the safety car peeled into the pit-lane it was Bottas who once again led the pack away with a comfortable lead from Verstappen behind.

After his poor start Hamilton began to put the pressure on Norris for fourth place from the start of lap 7, and continued to do so right until the chequered flag.

There was a brief squabble for ninth place as Sergio Perez attacked Lance Stroll into Turn 1, making a move stick on lap 10.

Back at the front of the field no one could touch Bottas, who came home victorious in the Italian GP Sprint Qualifying.

However due to the Mercedes driver taking an engine penalty this weekend, he will start from the back of the grid which promotes Verstappen to pole position.

Ricciardo had a quiet race to end third, and will have his first front-row start since the 2018 Mexico GP tomorrow with teammate Norris behind.

Hamilton couldn’t find a way past Norris’ McLaren and had to settle for fifth at the chequered flag.

Charles Leclerc got the better of his teammate Carlos Sainz as the Ferrari pair came home in sixth and seventh.

It was another impressive performance from Antonio Giovinazzi who crossed the line in eighth, with Perez and Stroll rounding out the top-10.

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