Valtteri Bottas is the winner of the last sprint qualifying races of the 2021 season. The Finn overtook Verstappen at the start, entered the first corner as the leader, and thus kept the first position to the finish line. For the Mercedes driver, this is the official pole position for the Brazilian GP and an additional 3 points for Mercedes.
Max Verstappen finished in 2nd place. The Dutchman had the best starting position. However, the Red Bull driver lost two positions and fell to third place. He soon made up for one lost position but failed to get close to Bottas to try to overtake him.
Still, Verstappen managed to score an extra 2 points in the title fight. Carlos Sainz did a great job for Ferrari. The Spaniard overtook three drivers in the first lap and found himself behind Bottas. However, Sainz could not repel Verstappen’s attack for 2nd place.
Still, the great Carlos won a small podium on soft tires and brought his team one point - which is very important for the constructors' championship. Sergio Perez placed 4th. The Mexican tried several times to overtake Sainz, who was on a softer tire component, but everything else was on the try.
The Red Bull driver thus failed in his intention to be in the front row for tomorrow’s race. Lewis Hamilton, who was penalized for the sprint race: there remains a further penalty of five places back, did a fantastic job reaching 5th place.
The Briton overtook the drivers in front of him from lap to lap. In the end, he can be satisfied with this result which gives him hope for the main race. Lando Norris placed 6th. The young Briton held the position higher, but near the end, he lost that place to Hamilton.
Norris did a good job because he managed to leave behind a Ferrari. Charles Leclerc finished the sprint race in 7th place. The Monegasque won one position at the start. However, he later fell in performance because first Norris and then Hamilton overtook him.
Ferrari has shared strategies with its drivers in this mini race, so they will see the best solution for tomorrow’s race. Pierre Gasly is the biggest loser of the qualifying race. The Frenchman looked quite strong before this.
However, he lost 3 positions at the start and lost an additional one to Hamilton. In the end, he crossed the finish line as eighth. Esteban Ocon finished in 9th place. The Alpine driver initially advanced two positions. During the short race, he kept a good pace with a smart ride.
Ocon still lost one position (Hamilton) but did a good job for his team. Vettel rounded out the top 10 fastest in the sprint qualifying race. The German got two positions at the start, kept them, so he calmly brought part of today's race to an end.
The German, like most drivers, failed to defend himself against Hamilton. Still, a good result for Aston Martin to try to finish in points tomorrow.