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F1 Sprint’s second outing of 2021 season confirmed for Italian Grand Prix at Monza

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Formula 1’s ‘Temple of Speed’ formally selected as the venue for the sport’s second sprint trial in mid-September

Last Updated: 22/07/21 11:27pm



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Watch Fernando Alonso’s amazing electric start to the inaugural F1 Sprint at Silverstone from 11th on the grid

Watch Fernando Alonso’s amazing electric start to the inaugural F1 Sprint at Silverstone from 11th on the grid

The Italian GP at Monza in September has been officially named as the second venue for F1’s sprint weekend experiment.

As expected, the next edition of F1’s trial format will take place at the circuit dubbed the ‘Temple of Speed’ when F1 heads to Italy for the second time this season on September 10-12.

The weekend format will be the same which debuted at last week’s British GP, with qualifying on Friday evening ahead of the 100km sprint on Saturday afternoon. The Monza weekend will end with the usual 53-lap Grand Prix on the Sunday.

A third and final sprint weekend for 2021 is pencilled in for one of the season’s later flyaway rounds.

F1 Sprint is likely to be 18 laps of the historic and high-speed Monza circuit

F1 Sprint is likely to be 18 laps of the historic and high-speed Monza circuit

Designed to increase value for fans and create more unpredictability for select events, the format could be rolled out at more events in 2022 if the three-race trial in 2021 is deemed to have been a success.

Ross Brawn, F1’s managing director of motorsport, told Sky Sports F1 after the debut of the short-format sprint event last Saturday that he had been pleased to see “pure racing”, with no pit stops or tyre strategy involved across what were 17 laps and 25 minutes of racing at Silverstone.

“No major things but a lot of things we need to take away from this weekend and think about with, time, and see if we can fine-tune them,” he said.

“But I’m really pleased with the overall concept.”

Ted Kravitz brings his Notebook to the British GP, as he looks back at the first Sprint Race of the season and interviews Ross Brawn

Sky Sports 25:15
Ted Kravitz brings his Notebook to the British GP, as he looks back at the first Sprint Race of the season and interviews Ross Brawn

Ted Kravitz brings his Notebook to the British GP, as he looks back at the first Sprint Race of the season and interviews Ross Brawn

What did the drivers say about F1 Sprint?

Lewis Hamilton: “I think it’s been great to try something new if I’m really honest. I don’t think the race was particularly exciting after the first lap from myself. We should just do a long Saturday and long Sunday. P1, P2, Qualifying on Saturday and then a Sprint race and a race on Sunday. Pack it all in!”

Daniel Ricciardo: “My favourite day of race week is Sunday and that’s because it’s a race. I like the start, the intensity of it all and wheel-to-wheel racing. With this format we kind of get to do that twice in a weekend, so for me it’s a win. I like it.”

Next up live only on Sky F1: The Hungarian GP!

Don’t miss the next instalment of a gripping F1 season and Hamilton vs Verstappen’s title duel at the Hungarian GP on July 30-August 1.

Max Verstappen: “It was different. I enjoyed driving on lower fuel in a race setting because the car comes more alive and it’s a lot better to drive. Just a bit weird then to hear you have got pole position because you are racing and then you have got pole position. Maybe we have got to get used to it, I don’t know, but that was maybe the weird thing about it.”

Sebastian Vettel: “I have enjoyed this unusual weekend format so far. It was interesting to have the intense moment yesterday evening followed by the Sprint today, which can go either way.”

Fernando Alonso: “I did enjoy it because we had three days of action. Normally the free practice are very useful for the teams and drivers but not for the spectators because they just see the cars passing around [the track]. Yesterday they had qualifying, today they had this race and tomorrow they have the main race. So it’s a good format.”

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Harness racing selections: Sunday, August 1

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Two meetings to look at on Sunday, with my attention at Marburg and Cranbourne.

The best bets for the respective programs are down below.

Marburg

Best bet: Race Two Number 1 Mustang Dude
The best on the card, and quite comfortably too. His recent runs have come at Redcliffe, placing three back after getting the box seat sit. The last couple have been plain but he hasn’t been helped by barriers. He gets the inside gate this time around and has enough early speed to hold up and prove hard to get past.

Next-best: Race One Number 1 The Last Starfire
He gets a perfect set-up here to bounce back into the winners’ list. He hasn’t won in a tick under 12 months, but the set-up here looks ideal with the lead his for the taking with a positive steer. He led and felt the pinch at Redcliffe last time but he does get such an ideal scenario here. A soft lead on a track where if you lead, there’s a good chance you’ll win.

Value: Race Three Number 6 Okanes Devil
I’m happy to have a small speck each way on this mare. She hasn’t exactly set the world on fire in recent times, but she did run a game fourth here three-back when attempting to lead throughout. She draws inside the second row and follows out a fast beginner, so should she land leaders back, she’ll be dangerous.

Cranbourne

Best bet: Race Four Number 2 Ultimate Me
He went 2/2 at Cranbourne and I’m confident he makes 3/3 with Chris Alford to steer. He spanked them two-back at Melton before going to Maryborough and was game in defeat when second in a fast mile rate. I suspect he finds the front and will take a power of beating from there.

Next-best: Race Seven Number 7 Here Comes Kyvalley
He’ll need luck in the run from outside the front row, but he’s a smart trotter that will take beating on current form. He snagged back last start at Kilmore and worked to the line well when second in a race dominated on speed. If he gets the right run in transit, he’ll take beating.

Value: Race Three Number 1 Mister Macedon
A lightly-raced four-year-old that has done little wrong in his career to date, placing in 11 of 14 career outings. His latest run came last Friday night at Tabcorp Park Melton when wide with cover late and working to the line strongly. He can hold a forward spot from the pole and each-way at double figures appeals.

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David Blough, Lions rooting on Melissa Gonzalez will warm your heart

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David Blough and Detroit Lions teammates cheer on his wife Melissa Gonzalez

This is the type of viral social media content we are here for. Obviously, the whole global pandemic has made things especially difficult for the Olympics to happen in the first place. They were postponed by a year. Even though we have a vaccine for COVID-19, many of the same health restrictions are in place, as the virus mutates and impact the livelihoods of everyone involved.

Though Blough is not excepted to play much in his third season out of Purdue, it is not like he can travel across the world in the latter part of July. He has a football season to prepare for. While he would have loved nothing more than to have been in Tokyo in-person, it is great to see he and his teammates root on Gonzalez, as she tries to fulfill her lifelong dream of winning Olympic gold.

Here is to Gonzalez being one step closer to becoming an Olympic medalist for Colombia this year.

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Blue Jays’ Manoah to start Saturday vs. Royals after activation from IL

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Toronto Blue Jays rookie pitcher Alek Manoah has been activated from the 10-day injured list and will start Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Royals, the team announced.

In a corresponding move, the Blue Jays optioned Trent Thornton to triple-A to make room for Manoah.

Manoah had been placed on the 10-day injured list with a bruised back on July 21 after he slipped and fell down rain-soaked dugout steps at Sahlen Field in Buffalo. He successfully completed a simulated game and is hopeful to start against the Royals in the Blue Jays’ first home game at the Rogers Centre since 2020.

The rookie hurler was also out at the end of June due to a a five-game suspension he received after an ejection against the Baltimore Orioles on June 19.

Manoah, Toronto’s first-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, has thrived in his first season, boasting a 2-1 record with a 2.90 ERA and 52 strikeouts across 40.1 innings.

Live coverage of Blue Jays vs. Royals begins at 3:07 p.m. ET on Sportsnet.

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