Red Bull will see championship leader Max Verstappen start the Italian Grand Prix from pole position following Monza’s sprint qualifying event.
In the first use of sprint qualifying since the British Grand Prix in July, Verstappen crossed the line second behind the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, who topped the initial qualifying on Friday night.
However, Bottas is taking on engine penalties for the race at Monza, and the Finnish driver will start the full Italian Grand Prix itself tomorrow at the back of the grid.
This means that Verstappen, who began third but was able to overtake a slow starting Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap, will begin the full event at Monza from front spot. He will start alongside his former Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who managed third for McLaren.
It’s the second time that sprint qualifying in Formula One has produced a Verstappen pole, with the Red Bull driver having started the British Grand Prix from pole position courtesy of his work in the sprint event.
For finishing second in the sprint qualifying heat, Verstappen earns two points. This bumps up his advantage on primary championship rival Hamilton to five, with the reigning world champion failing to score points altogether.
Meanwhile, Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez will start the full race from 8th position, having crossed the line 9th in the sprint event. The Mexican driver is enjoyed no position change from where he qualified in the Friday session, having lost places at the start to Antonio Giovinazzi and Lance Stroll.
Perez was eventually able to get back past ex-team mate Stroll, but his other position gain was down to Pierre Gasly suffering a first lap crash rather than Perez being able to get back past the Alfa Romeo of Giovinazzi in his home race.