What Will Be the Starting Grid for F1 Sprint Qualifying? Will Bottas’ Engine Penalty Apply at Monza?

Published 09/11/2021, 3:15 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 10, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during qualifying REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini


Valtteri Bottas, hardly days after his Mercedes exit announcement, raced to become the second-ever speed king of F1 at Monza. In the process, he also managed to oust his very own teammate, Lewis Hamilton.

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But, behind the racy Mercedes duo, there was utter chaos, with the top 10 almost managing to match the third-placed Verstappen’s final Q3 lap time. Hence, amidst what could be an interesting 30 minutes on Saturday evening, let’s take a look at how the grid will line up.

Top 10 for the F1 Sprint race

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As mentioned earlier, it is Bottas on the front-most spot on the grid alongside his teammate, Hamilton, which means that Mercedes have locked out the front row. The Finn will not be taking the engine grid penalty over the sprint, as the session falls into the category of qualifying rather than a race.

Behind the duo will be Verstappen, who struggled throughout Friday evening to match the pacy black Mercedes.

Alongside the Dutchman will be Norris, who missed out on the P3 start by 0.023s. Daniel Ricciardo will be starting from P5 alongside Pierre Gasly, who will line up P6 on the grid for the sixth time this season.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 10, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. during qualifying REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

The fourth row will go to the Ferrari drivers, with Carlos Sainz managing to start ahead of Charles Leclerc, who had to cope with engine braking issues throughout the qualifying session.

Sergio Perez will start from P9 after signing off yet another disappointing qualifying session. Finally, the final spot on the top 10 grid will go to Antonio Giovinazzi, who has been on fire since the Dutch GP.

Rest of the grid for the Sprint

Aston Martin duo, Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll, will lock out the sixth row ahead of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon. Both the teams looked solid through FP1; however, going into the succeeding session, their pace just wasn’t enough to hand them a top 10 start to the sprint at Monza.

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Behind them will be George Russell, who couldn’t pull another strong result out of qualifying after the Spa and Zandvoort show. Alongside the Briton will be his Williams teammate, Nicholas Latifi, followed by Yuki Tsunoda, whose qualifying curse just doesn’t seem to let go of him.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 10, 2021 AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and drivers during qualifying REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

Mick Schumacher will start from P18, ahead of Alfa Romeo’s replacement driver, Robert Kubica, and his Haas teammate, Nikita Mazepin.

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Overall, the grid is set for what could possibly be an ecstatic sprint session at the Temple of Speed. 30 minutes of constant wheel-to-wheel battling is on the cards, but who is going to come ahead in the end and claim the pole position for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix?

Watch Story: What Are Sprint Races & Where Will They Be Held?

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Rohit Kumar

1166 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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