Italian Grand Prix: Valtteri Bottas beats Lewis Hamilton for F1 'sprint' race front row

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The BBC Sport website has audio and text coverage of this year's Italian Grand Prix.

Mercedes' Valtteri bottas defeated Lewis Hamilton to be the fastest qualifier for Saturday's Italian Grand Prix Sprint race.

Hamilton was beaten by Hamilton by 0.96 seconds. Hamilton's title rival Max verstappen was third at 0.411secs.

An hour-long qualifying session was held to determine the grid for Saturday's sprint' race qualifying.

Red Bull's Verstappen trails Hamilton by three points in title race.

Bottas will however undergo an engine change this weekend. He will therefore start Sunday's main race from the back of his grid, regardless where he finishes Saturday.

He took his lap just days after it was revealed that Briton George Russell would be replacing him at Mercedes next season. Bottas will be driving for Alfa Romeo 2022.

Bottas shouted, "Oh yes, boom!" Thank you.

Later, he added that it felt so good to have a good lap. I needed a little help. Everything is now in order and I feel great.

McLaren's fourth place finish was a strong one for Lando Norris from Britain. His team-mate Daniel Ricciardo performed much better and McLaren took fifth.

Alpha Tauri, along with McLaren look quick in Pierre Gasly's hands last year, who was sixth.

Carlos Sainz of Ferrari and Charles Leclerc from Alfa were seventh and eighth respectively, while Sergio Perez from Red Bull and Antonio Giovinazzi from Alfa rounded out the top 10.

The grid for Sunday's main grand prix will be determined by Saturday's results in the'sprint' races.

The 18-lap event will have championship points. There will be three for the winner, two each for second and one third.

Officially, the winner of the sprint race will be recognized as the driver who won pole position in the traditional 53-lap race.

This is the second race in the season that has witnessed a change from the traditional format of grand prix weekends.

How did Bottas manage to pull that bag out of her bag?

Hamilton was the fastest on Friday, and seemed to be miles ahead of Verstappen (his team-mate) on a circuit that he had won five times.

Bottas was able to relax after the disappointment of being rejected by Mercedes for next season, and the announcement that he would race for a different team.

His first flying lap during the final session of qualifying was messy. He dipped his rear wheel in the gravel at the Variante della Roggia chicane and sent sparks and stones flying.

He managed to beat Hamilton on the last lap and take a tow.

Hamilton stated that Valtteri did a great lap and that he was very proud of it. It looked pretty good up until that point, but then he was faster and I couldn’t match it. Well deserved.

"It's wonderful to see Valtteri driving so smoothly - especially with the news this week."

During qualifying, cars were piled up on the pit lane

Russell's reward at Monza busy

Williams' George Russell finished 15th, still high after the announcement that he would partner Hamilton at Mercedes next year.

Autodromo Nazionale Monza's practice and qualifying took place in dry, warm conditions in the Lombardy region of Italy near Milan. It is known as the "cathedral for speed" because of its rich motorsport history.

It is thought that the Mercedes car's characteristics are slightly better suited to the circuit's low-downforce speed than the Red Bull which was superior at all other tracks this season.

Some drivers were able to gain lap time through receiving a tow, which allows a car to travel closely behind another vehicle in clear air. However, it was less difficult to follow other cars in this season.

The second session saw close racing in the pit lane as cars joskeyed for position to gain a gap on the track. This caused a near-pile-up. Multiple teams are currently being investigated.