(Reuters) – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will start Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix on pole position after stretching his Formula One championship lead over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to five points in a sprint qualifying race on Saturday.

Valtteri Bottas won the sprint for Mercedes but engine penalties mean the Finn will go to the back of the grid for the main race at Monza.

McLaren’s Australian Daniel Ricciardo will join Verstappen, second at the flag, on the front row.

Verstappen gained two world championship points, with seven times world champion Hamilton fifth on track after a poor start and set to line up fourth on the grid with McLaren’s Lando Norris third.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Gareth Jones)

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