Bottas takes pole for Italian Grand Prix sprint

Sports Desk, Sep 10 (EFE).- Days after the announcement that he is leaving Mercedes at the end of 2021 for Alfa Romeo, Finland’s Valtteri Bottas drove the fastest lap Friday to claim pole position in the qualifying sprint for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy.

The Finn made it around the track at Monza in 1:19.555, nearly a tenth of a second faster than British teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull), who leads seven-time champion Hamilton in the 2021 driver standings by 3 points, will start Saturday’s sprint in P3.

The McLaren duo of Briton Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo of Australia finished fourth and fifth, respectively, followed in sixth by France’s Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri).

Ferrari, embarrassed last year when neither driver even made it through to Q3 at the Scuderia’s home track, fared better on Friday, as Spaniard Carlos Sainz was seventh and Charles Leclerc of Monaco grabbed the eighth spot.

Rounding out the top 10 were Verstappen’s Mexican teammate, Sergio “Checo” Perez, and Italian driver Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo).

While Bottas can pick up from 1 to 3 points with a podium finish in the sprint, he will begin Sunday’s race in P20 due to a grid penalty for adding parts to his power unit. EFE omb/dr

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