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British Grand Prix: Max Verstappen wins sprint qualifying to claim pole position for race

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starting gridThe British Grand Prix is live on Sunday on BBC Radio 5 Live, with digital coverage on the BBC Sport website

Red Bull's Max Verstappen will start the British Grand Prix from pole position after winning Formula 1's new trial sprint race on Saturday.

The Dutchman got the jump on Lewis Hamilton off the line and led comfortably to the end to extend his championship lead by a point to 33.

Hamilton chased Verstappen all the way and crossed the line 1.4 seconds back.

The race was enlivened by a brilliant first lap by Fernando Alonso, the Alpine driver going from 11th to fifth.

The result of the sprint sets the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix, so Alonso's gamble on starting on soft tyres paid off handsomely.

He lost places to the McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo during the 17-lap race but still gained four places on the grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday from his qualifying position.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas also gambled on softs at the start but failed to make any ground on Verstappen and settled into a lonely drive to third place, ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, Norris and Ricciardo.

Reaction to sprint qualifying sessionBritish Grand Prix radio & online coverage details

Verstappen said: "It is difficult to pass but we had a good start and a good fight with Lewis around the first lap. We were pushing each other hard and at the end the tyres were blistering and we had to look after them.

"It's a funny way to score pole position but we will take it and see what happens tomorrow."

The drivers were taken around the track on a bus after the race to do their interviews and Hamilton said: "I've got to say thanks to all the fans. The energy I am getting from them is amazing.

"I am sorry I wasn't able to get the win for them today. But they are just so strong,. In the race he was pulling away, there was nothing I could do to stay with him.

"I don't know whether it was the most exciting race but we should do more like that or a variation on it because it makes the weekend more enjoyable."

What about that from Alonso?

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Fernando AlonsoAlonso provided the bulk of the entertainment during the 17-lap race

The sprint event, which involved moving qualifying to Friday, was introduced to spread the competitive action across the weekend but also in the hope of an action-packed shorter race on the Saturday.

In the end, the battle at the front was static after Verstappen's electric start and an attempt by Hamilton to pass the Red Bull around the outside of Copse on lap one.

The Dutchman controlled the pace, Hamilton could not get close and the pair nursed blistering tyres in temperatures of 28C in front of a packed crowd of 100,000.

But Alonso's stupendous start created the real action of the day.

The two-time world champion had gambled on starting on soft tyres while almost everyone else was on mediums, and it worked a treat.

He went around the outside of Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz at Turn One, overtook George Russell's Williams on the inside of Turn Two, passed Ricciardo on the exit of Turn Three into Turn Four, Red Bull's Sergio Perez around the outside of the long Luffield hairpin and then Norris around the outside of the 180mph Copse corner.

The Alpine did not have the race pace of the cars that qualified in front of Alonso, and he led a train for the rest of the race.

Norris passed on lap six into Turn Three and Ricciardo on lap nine as the two battled side by side through seven corners.

Next up to challenge Alonso was Vettel. Alonso was warned by officials for weaving under braking but even after that stopped Vettel was unable to make it past.

Behind Vettel, George Russell, outstanding in the Williams in qualifying, took ninth from Alonso's team-mate Esteban Ocon.

Stewards are investigating a collision between Russell and Sainz on the first lap to establish whether either driver deserves a penalty. Sainz went off the track after they touched wheels but recovered to finish 11th.

The big loser was Red Bull's Sergio Perez, who started fifth, dropped to seventh on the first lap and then had a high-speed spin at Becketts on lap five.

He dropped to 18th and was later forced to retire the car, and will start from the back on Sunday.

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Comment posted by Eddie, today at 17:23Eddie

17:23After the first 15 secs it was boring despite the attempt at hyping it up by the commentators. Much less exciting than the old style qualifying when changes could happen up to the very last second. Awarding championship points is totally unfair, particularly as only the first three get any. One to be ditched immediately don’t have the other two trials. Huge turnoff, waste of 30 mins. Goodnight!7022S

Reply posted by samsung tv, today at 17:26samsung tv

17:26to Eddie"After the first 15 secs it was boring despite the attempt at hyping it up by the commentators. Much less exciting than the old style qualifying when changes could happen up to the very last second. Awarding championship points is totally unfair, particularly as only the first three get any. One to be ditched immediately don’t have the other two trials. Huge turnoff, waste of 30 mins. Goodnight!"samsung tv replied: Obviously your driver Lewis didn’t win. Bad luck.3149More replies (14)downS

Comment posted by SportsFan_2012, today at 17:22SportsFan_2012

17:22Lost interest after the first few laps it’s just not F1 end of.506C

Reply posted by CountVlad, today at 17:54CountVlad

17:54to SportsFan_2012"Lost interest after the first few laps it’s just not F1 end of."CountVlad replied: yep and the final race order is now sorted for tomorrow, only Perez to worry about who is out of place. Had to happen at theBritish Grand Prix, sad event this weekend22More replies (1)downP

Comment posted by Po the Panda, today at 17:27Po the Panda

17:27So, the same queit cars, the same stodgy rules, the same awful tyres, same racing. what was the actual point of this sprint? it is so dysfunctional and it seems it is all over the place.
not sure what value it adds other than to the millennial generation who have attention span of a goldfish? can someone please let me know what they think or is it just me?395R

Reply posted by RB, today at 17:30RB

17:30to Po the Panda"So, the same queit cars, the same stodgy rules, the same awful tyres, same racing. what was the actual point of this sprint? it is so dysfunctional and it seems it is all over the place.not sure what value it adds other than to the millennial generation who have attention span of a goldfish? can someone please let me know what they think or is it just me?"RB replied: Give it a chance! It’s only the first one718More replies (8)downF

Comment posted by Fruitbat, today at 17:21Fruitbat

17:21The trouble is … I now wonder if I need to watch tomorrow. Because this was a mini race, the positions are likely to predict how things will finish tomorrow very well indeed. So other than Perez coming through from the back, will there be any action ?322M

Reply posted by matt, today at 17:23matt

17:23to Fruitbat"The trouble is … I now wonder if I need to watch tomorrow. Because this was a mini race, the positions are likely to predict how things will finish tomorrow very well indeed. So other than Perez coming through from the back, will there be any action ?"matt replied: No.
No there won’t.220More replies (3)downB

Comment posted by Bob, today at 17:23Bob

17:23What a waste of time that was.

And it’s high time the FIA suspended Willspin’s super licence. His daddy nay be rich but his son is not up to snuff.345O

Reply posted by OmNom, today at 17:42OmNom

17:42to Bob"What a waste of time that was.And it’s high time the FIA suspended Willspin’s super licence. His daddy nay be rich but his son is not up to snuff."OmNom replied: Mazepin should’ve never have gotten an F1 Super Licence, and should’ve been thrown out of motorsport for what he’s done to both his fellow drivers and also women in his company.

However, he wasn’t to blame for that spin; Mick caused it.13More replies (1)downH

Comment posted by Hank Scorpio, today at 17:18Hank Scorpio

17:18Worth a try, 1st lap aside there was little to get overly excited about. Let’s go back to qualifying being the driver who is quickest over one lap, not 17!288O

Reply posted by Ook the Librarian, today at 17:20Ook the Librarian

17:20to Hank Scorpio"Worth a try, 1st lap aside there was little to get overly excited about. Let’s go back to qualifying being the driver who is quickest over one lap, not 17!"Ook the Librarian replied: Max would still be at the front regardless … I like this new format. Allows the drivers to drive the cars properly rather than messing about warming up tyres and saving tyres and all that rubbish417More replies (9)downP

Comment posted by porle57, today at 17:18porle57

17:18Honestly cannot make my mind up about that. It was somewhat processional once the opening laps had settled and was waiting for some motor racing to break out! Still do not agree with the awarding of additional points for the top three. It seems grossly unfair on the rest of the runners.180B

Reply posted by Bigphil1999, today at 17:26Bigphil1999

17:26to porle57"Honestly cannot make my mind up about that. It was somewhat processional once the opening laps had settled and was waiting for some motor racing to break out! Still do not agree with the awarding of additional points for the top three. It seems grossly unfair on the rest of the runners."Bigphil1999 replied: Yawn. Enjoyed qualifying Friday much more. That was pretty much settled half way through, at least qualifying goes to the end.153More replies (2)downO

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Comment posted by oops, today at 17:26oops

17:26That was all very inevitable apart from the Perez thing. Even Mazespin lived up to his name.
The race tomorrow will be much the same.160C

Reply posted by CountVlad, today at 17:59CountVlad

17:59to oops"That was all very inevitable apart from the Perez thing. Even Mazespin lived up to his name.The race tomorrow will be much the same."CountVlad replied: A procession for tomorrow as the race order is sorted10C

Comment posted by Chris Jones, today at 17:31Chris Jones

17:31Very underwhelming162C

Reply posted by Celts, today at 18:04Celts

18:04to Chris Jones"Very underwhelming"Celts replied: When Hamilton got pole yesterday:

90% of comments – Waxing lyrical about what a genius Hamilton is.

When Verstappen got pole today:

90% of the comments – Moaning about the new format.

You keep moaning about formats. Whatever it takes to distract yourself from the fact that your boy got smoked off the start line again!!00D

Comment posted by David Ponsford, today at 17:30David Ponsford

17:30How boring that sprint was ?! Back to the drawing board lads163W

Comment posted by WengerIn, today at 17:17WengerIn

17:17Well done Lando. Amazing drive. Nice to give the British fans something to cheer196N

Reply posted by Nic77, today at 17:39Nic77

17:39to WengerIn"Well done Lando. Amazing drive. Nice to give the British fans something to cheer"Nic77 replied: Well Hamilton couldn’t!! Smoked off the line by the fastest driver in F1 once again!!78W

Comment posted by Windyspurs, today at 17:37Windyspurs

17:37Well that was a waste of time then153C

Reply posted by CountVlad, today at 17:40CountVlad

17:40to Windyspurs"Well that was a waste of time then"CountVlad replied: yep61More replies (1)downG

Comment posted by Gurin Jeimuzu, today at 17:23Gurin Jeimuzu

17:23Wasn’t that exciting after the first lap. Feels too much decided by how good your start was, which if we’re honest is often influenced by luck.

It was nice to see some racing on a Saturday but just how much of the enjoyment can this be chalked down to other than novelty?133C

Reply posted by CountVlad, today at 17:26CountVlad

17:26to Gurin Jeimuzu"Wasn’t that exciting after the first lap. Feels too much decided by how good your start was, which if we’re honest is often influenced by luck. It was nice to see some racing on a Saturday but just how much of the enjoyment can this be chalked down to other than novelty?"CountVlad replied: no need for the race tomorrow, it will be a longer repeat of what we just saw1304

Comment posted by 40 years since we had a Labour Party, today at 17:2640 years since we had a Labour Party

17:26What a surprise.A system specifically designed to increase the gap between top teams and also-rans by removing the wild card of qualifying performances has done just that. The real racing will be over even more quickly now. Starting in reverse WC order was the only way to increase the interest, and real racers would have adored it. This is as asinine as DRS in not tackling the real problem.134C

Reply posted by CountVlad, today at 17:28CountVlad

17:28to 40 years since we had a Labour Party"What a surprise.A system specifically designed to increase the gap between top teams and also-rans by removing the wild card of qualifying performances has done just that. The real racing will be over even more quickly now. Starting in reverse WC order was the only way to increase the interest, and real racers would have adored it. This is as asinine as DRS in not tackling the real problem."CountVlad replied: Boring is what the was will be a repeat for tomorrow30More replies (3)downT

Comment posted by Trevor, today at 17:19Trevor

17:19So its still all about the start…uff81N

Reply posted by Nic77, today at 17:44Nic77

17:44to Trevor"So its still all about the start…uff"Nic77 replied: Bad news for Hamilton. A.K.A the sloth starter….12M

Comment posted by MichaelP, today at 17:35MichaelP

17:35Watched 2 laps then went and did the washing up. More exciting and considerably more useful.71F

Comment posted by Finkelstein, today at 17:29Finkelstein

17:29Thank God we have a competitive driver in Verstappen who is more than capable of beating Hamilton. Sprint was won in the first lap and then it was cruise control to the finish. Verstappen is now living in Hamiltons head for free and will know he has the upper hand. The danger is Hamilton will start taking risks which makes him a danger to others. I think Verstappen will go pole to finish tomorrow126C

Reply posted by CountVlad, today at 17:33CountVlad

17:33to Finkelstein"Thank God we have a competitive driver in Verstappen who is more than capable of beating Hamilton. Sprint was won in the first lap and then it was cruise control to the finish. Verstappen is now living in Hamiltons head for free and will know he has the upper hand. The danger is Hamilton will start taking risks which makes him a danger to others. I think Verstappen will go pole to finish tomorrow"CountVlad replied: Not your way out there………. Just a non competitive car sooner in a season than normal20More replies (1)downT

Comment posted by thenestofvipers, today at 17:53thenestofvipers

17:53I look forward to a wet saturday ‘sprint race’ where a load of cars are stuffed into a wall and most wont be ready for Sundays race………they might think risking it all on a saturday sprint race isn’t worth the risk to devalue the main race by having to field even fewer cars than there are now.40G

Reply posted by gkm479, today at 17:56gkm479

17:56to thenestofvipers"I look forward to a wet saturday ‘sprint race’ where a load of cars are stuffed into a wall and most wont be ready for Sundays race………they might think risking it all on a saturday sprint race isn’t worth the risk to devalue the main race by having to field even fewer cars than there are now."gkm479 replied: Marvellous idea. I can picture it clearly00M

Comment posted by mcm75, today at 17:50mcm75

17:50No matter what the format Hamilton is over driving the Merc and in full race distance he will over drive again and I predict he will suffer more than Max when it comes to tire management which Max and RB look good in. Only see one winner tomorrow bar reliability it’s gonna be Max.40N

Reply posted by nolongersurprised, today at 17:55nolongersurprised

17:55to mcm75"No matter what the format Hamilton is over driving the Merc and in full race distance he will over drive again and I predict he will suffer more than Max when it comes to tire management which Max and RB look good in. Only see one winner tomorrow bar reliability it’s gonna be Max."nolongersurprised replied: Only see one winner tomorrow bar reliability …………….. that’s the problem with F1 in a nutshell and has been for too long/10W

Comment posted by whyisstephmcgovernstaringatme, today at 17:48whyisstephmcgovernstaringatme

17:48Do not fear guys and gals, i have the solution to save F1!

All cars to have power limited to 50% of maximum. However, they can up the power depending on who they have to drive:

Black driver +5%
Female driver + 25%
Working class driver + 40%
Blind driver +50%

Much better than all this taking the knee nonsense that achieves nothing. This will ensure true diversity and make the races interesting.51A

Reply posted by Atomic Lizard, today at 17:50Atomic Lizard

17:50to whyisstephmcgovernstaringatme"Do not fear guys and gals, i have the solution to save F1!All cars to have power limited to 50% of maximum. However, they can up the power depending on who they have to drive:Black driver +5%Female driver + 25%Working class driver + 40%Blind driver +50%Much better than all this taking the knee nonsense that achieves nothing. This will ensure true diversity and make the races interesting."Atomic Lizard replied: Been let out from under your bridge by the Billy-goats again, have you?

Do us all a favour and crawl back!02More replies (3)downMore commentsBack to topunknown
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