Feature

From a thrilling charge through the field to a three-way battle for the lead – Five of the greatest moments from the F1 Sprint

Writer

Anna Francis
Share
Formula 1 header template (66).png

Since its arrival in 2021, the F1 Sprint has delivered some unforgettable action. Whether it has been scintillating battles into the first corner, intra-team scraps or drivers charging through the field, the 100km dash has seen it all.

Following the announcement of the six venues that will host the Sprint in 2025, now feels like a good time to reflect back on a few of those standout Sprint moments from the past few years as we look forward to even more in the near future…

READ MORE: FIA and Formula 1 announce 2025 Sprint Calendar

Alonso’s opening lap heroics, Great Britain 2021

Fernando Alonso is no stranger to getting his elbows out and he again showed his mettle at the first-ever Sprint held at Silverstone in 2021. Having lined up in P11 for Alpine, the Spaniard was on a mission as the lights went out and made several bold moves around the outside through the first corner.

His surge continued through Turn 3 before he then snatched an extra position from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, followed by an overtake on Lando Norris’s McLaren across the start/finish line. By the end of the lap, Alonso had gained no less than six positions to slot himself into P5.

F1 Sprint Moment: Alonso charges to P5 from P11 at start

Hamilton charges from the back of the field, Brazil 2021

Few Sprint moments are as unforgettable as Lewis Hamilton’s performance at the 2021 Sao Paulo event. After being disqualified from Friday’s qualifying session, the Mercedes driver was relegated to the back of the grid for Saturday’s Sprint.

READ MORE: How 945 days of blood, sweat and tears paid off in Hamilton’s statement Silverstone victory

Following a strong start off the line, Hamilton carved his way through the field over 24 laps, having reached the top-10 by the midway point before ultimately crossing the line in P5 to keep himself firmly in contention in a tense title fight with Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

The following day Hamilton went on to complete the comeback job by passing Verstappen to take victory in the Grand Prix.

2021 São Paulo GP F1 Sprint: Hamilton blasts through the field in Brazil

Russell fights through for the win, Brazil 2022

There had already been drama before the 2022 Sprint in Sao Paulo had even begun, with Kevin Magnussen taking a shock pole position for Haas during a wet-dry qualifying session. The rules at the time meant that this put the Dane in P1 on the grid for the Sprint, and he initially managed to hold off a challenge from Verstappen off the line.

WATCH: Ride onboard with Russell for his storming home pole lap around Silverstone

Magnussen’s charge did not last for long though, with an enthralling battle soon playing out at the front as Verstappen overtook the Haas before then facing pressure himself from the Mercedes of George Russell. By Lap 15 the Briton had made a move around the outside stick at Turn 4, and from there took a maiden Sprint victory.

2022 Sao Paulo GP Sprint: George Russell takes maiden Sprint victory at Interlagos

Piastri takes victory, Qatar 2023

Oscar Piastri had already established himself as a rookie to watch throughout his debut season in F1 in 2023, which culminated in scoring his first podium at the Japanese Grand Prix in September.

READ MORE: ‘Both our drivers could have won’ – Brown says McLaren ‘got it wrong’ after Norris and Piastri miss out at Silverstone

The Australian then carried this momentum into the next round at Qatar, where he grabbed pole for the Sprint and went on to handle challenging conditions, two Safety Cars and also keep Verstappen and McLaren team mate Norris at bay to claim victory.

2023 Qatar GP Sprint: Oscar Piastri crosses the line to take his maiden F1 victory in the Sprint

Verstappen vs Norris vs Piastri, Austria 2024

Speaking of Verstappen and the McLaren pair, all three were again in fine form come Sprint day at the 2024 event in Austria. While Verstappen led away from pole as the lights went out, Norris was hot on his tail and briefly moved into the lead on Lap 5 after a move at Turn 3.

READ MORE: Verstappen hails ‘right calls’ from Red Bull in helping to seal P2 at Silverstone

However, Verstappen fought back into Turn 4, which compromised Norris’s exit and resulted in Piastri also slipping through to take second place from his team mate. There were likely some tense moments on the McLaren pit wall to follow as Norris did not let up the pressure on Piastri, but both cars ultimately kept position while Verstappen clinched the win.

2024 Austrian GP Sprint: Piastri snatches P2 after thrilling three-car battle for the lead

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Coming Up

Coming Up

News

‘When people say things, I tend to have a decent weekend!’ – Ricciardo ready to answer his critics on track