British Grand Prix: Sprint Qualifying RecapJuly 17, 2021
Our summary and reaction from the team as they reflect on the first F1 Sprint, from Silverstone.
Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin will start the British Grand Prix from 18th and 19th, respectively, having finished in those positions in Formula 1’s first-ever 100km Sprint qualifying event at Silverstone Circuit.
With the grid for Sunday’s 52-lap race being set by the classification from the 17-lap Sprint, Formula 1 ventured into new territory when the lights went out and the on-track action began on Saturday afternoon.
Schumacher and Mazepin started the Sprint in 19th and 20th following Friday’s traditional knockout qualifying session. Contact between the rookie pairing on the opening lap resulted in a spin for Mazepin at turn three but both cars raced on. Sergio Perez spun on lap six dropping the Red Bull Racing driver down the order, briefly promoting Schumacher up to 18th, but the Mexican clawed some ground back before retiring to the pits on the final lap. As a result, Schumacher finished 18th with Mazepin 19th at the checkered flag.
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen won the inaugural Sprint – the Dutchman earning pole position for the British Grand Prix, his fourth consecutive pole and his fifth of the season, and three additional world championship points for the win. Verstappen beat home-town favorite Lewis Hamilton – the British racer securing second on the grid for Sunday’s race and two points. Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, finished third with the Finn claiming the final point on offer in the Sprint.
Nikita Mazepin, Driver No. 9, Uralkali Haas F1 Team
“I had a very good launch – one of my best starts this year. The nature of this track means I was on the outside of T2 and then the inside of T3. You try to carry the speed in but the car on the left has a better stopping power and you both try to make the corner but then I had to avoid my teammate. With the pace of the car we have this weekend, the best comparison I have is my teammate and I was a lot faster than him for the first part of the race and then a lot slower for the second part of the race.”
Mick Schumacher, Driver No. 47, Uralkali Haas F1 Team
“I think we could fine-tune it here and there to try and make it logistically better for us, to be able to change set-ups etc. – but I think for a first try, it was very good. I think for smaller teams it’s a bit tougher – we have less time, and we have fewer capabilities compared to other teams who have more people. Unfortunately for us, it was quite lonely out there but still interesting. Now it’s up to us to analyze what we can do better to be closer next time.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Uralkali Haas F1 Team
“For me personally, this was a good experiment – but it’s not about what I think, it’s about what the fans think. If we come to the conclusion that they like it, then I’m all for it. Our day today was nothing exciting – more of the same I would say – but in the end it was something exciting for this weekend as we had a different format for the race weekend. We learnt something, we have something to think about and we keep a bit of excitement going.”
Event: Sprint Qualifying for the British Grand Prix – Saturday July 17
Location: Silverstone Circuit, England
Layout: 5.891-kilometer (3.66-mile), 18-turn circuit
Air Temps: 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 degrees Fahrenheit)
Track Temps: 49 degrees Celsius (120.2 degrees Fahrenheit)
Sprint Winner: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing
Team Result: Mick Schumacher – Started Sprint 19th / Finished 18th (Running – completed 17/17 laps)
Nikita Mazepin – Started Sprint 20th / Finished 19th (Running – completed 17/17 laps)
Free Practice No. 2 Rundown
Mazepin: 19th overall (1:32.474), 31 laps completed
Schumacher: 20th overall (1:34.017), 28 laps completed
Fastest Driver: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:29.902)
Sprint Qualifying (17-laps / 100km)
Schumacher: 18th overall
Mazepin: 19th overall
Sprint Winner: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing – Secures Pole for British Grand Prix