Max Verstappen beats Lewis Hamilton to win first-ever F1 sprint qualifying race – and claim pole position for British GP
MAX VERSTAPPEN took first place in Formula One's maiden sprint qualifying to increase his lead in the championship over Lewis Hamilton to 33 points.
The Red Bull man earned three points for his win and will start tomorrow's British Grand Prix from first on the grid.
It is a blow for Hamilton, who had started on pole but the Mercedes man lost the lead at the first corner on the first lap.
Hamilton, who was second and picked up two championship points, crossed the line ahead of his team-mate Valtteri Bottas in a somewhat predictable end.
There was drama on the first lap as Verstappen leapfrogged Hamilton into Turn One, and while there was a fightback from the Brit at Copse, it was otherwise a cruise for the Dutchman.
Charles Leclerc qualified in fourth while Lando Norris will now start the GP in fifth ahead of his McLaren team-mate.
George Russell, who started the sprint race in eighth place, qualified in ninth.
The big casualty from the 17-lap race that took around 32 minutes was Red Bull's Sergio Perez, who spun off on lap six.
The Mexican was then forced to retire his car one lap from the end of the sprint race and is now likely to start from the pitlane.
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Every point counts, but I’m grateful to have finished and tomorrow we fight again.
Hamilton said after taking one fewer point than his rival: “Every point counts, but I’m grateful to have finished and tomorrow we fight again.
“They’re just so strong, there was nothing I could do to hold onto him.
“They’ve done a great job with their engine, their starts are really good and we’ve lost a bit of performance in the starts.”
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