Lewis Hamilton won a chaotic race which was interrupted by two red flags as he led a Mercedes 1-2 at the Tuscan Grand Prix in Italy. Hamilton recorded the 90th win of his career and the sixth win of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Valtteri Bottas got the better of Hamilton at the start of the race. But in a race riddled with multiple crashes and red-flag periods which led to two more restarts from the grid, Hamilton pipped him for the win.
Alexander Albon battled through all the chaos to secure the maiden podium of his career. It was a combative drive for the Anglo-Thai driver and will help relieve the pressure that has been mounting on him.
The race started under clear skies and hot conditions with air temperatures at 30 degrees C and track temperatures at 44 degrees C at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello circuit.
Hamilton started from pole position at this newly added race at the Scuderia Ferrari-owned track. Team-mate Bottas joined him on the first row.
The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing drivers, Max Verstappen and Albon, were on the second row. Charles Leclerc and Lance Stroll lined up on the third row. Sergio Pérez, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon lined up at the front of the grid.
Pérez was given a one-place grid penalty for an infringement in free practice which put him behind team-mate Stroll on the grid. The Red Bull Racing mechanics worked frantically on the grid before the start on Verstappen’s car due to a power unit issue. All the drivers in the top 10 started the race on the fragile soft compound tyres in the hot and windy conditions.
Bottas had a great launch to lead Hamilton into Turn 1. Verstappen went backwards as his engine stalled and when the cars entered Turn 2, the cars tangled and Verstappen was beached in the gravel. Gasly was also out of the race in the incident which also involved Kimi Räikkönen.
In a separate incident, Sainz was turned around after a clash with Stroll and Sebastian Vettel hit the McLaren car and suffered a broken wing. The Safety Car was immediately deployed. Romain Grosjean, Vettel and Raikkonen were now at the back of the field.
The order at the restart on lap 6 was Bottas, Hamilton, Leclerc, Albon, Stroll, Ricciardo, Pérez, Norris, Kvyat and Ocon. Leclerc had made a great start to take third-place behind the Mercedes drivers at Ferrari’s 1000th Grand Prix.
But at the restart, yet another carnage ensued at the back of the field. It was triggered by Antonio Giovinazzi which led to Sainz, Kevin Magnussen and Nicholas Latifi being knocked out of the race.
With debris strewn all over the start – finish straight the race was red-flagged. The drivers got a free pit stop with the Mercedes drivers taking on the medium compound tyres. Ocon was also out of the race with brake issues. Only thirteen cars remained in the race at this point.
When the race resumed on lap 10, Hamilton now slipstreamed behind Bottas and swept around the outside and led into Turn 1. By the end of the lap, Hamilton was more than a second ahead of Bottas.
On lap 18, Stroll overtook Leclerc to take third position. Leclerc steadily went backward and was in seventh position by lap 21. On lap 22, Leclerc triggered the pit stops as he pitted for the hard compound tyres. On lap 32, Bottas pitted immediately followed by Hamilton.
After the drivers had completed the pit stops, the order was Hamilton, Bottas, Ricciardo, Stroll, Albon, Pérez, Norris, Leclerc, Kvyat, Russell, Vettel, Grosjean and Räikkönen.
Hamilton had gained from the pit stops and was now more than eight seconds ahead of Bottas. Ricciardo had jumped Stroll in the pit stops and was now in third position.
Even as the drivers started running out of tyres, Stroll had a massive crash on lap 43 and ended in the tyre barriers. Stroll walked away from the crash and the Safety Car was deployed. The drvers pitted under the Safety Car.
But the race was red-flagged for a second time as the tyre barriers had to be repaired. For the second time in this race and for the third time in two weeks the drivers were back on the grid for a standing start after a red-flag period.
Hamilton had a perfect launch, but Ricciardo streaked past Bottas to take second position. Bottas had to fight back to regain second position. Hamilton opened up a two second lead to Bottas and maintained it till the end of the race. By Lap 51, Albon had overtaken Ricciardo to take third place.
Hamilton took the extra point for fastest lap and the sixth win of the season in a chaotic race that had three starts from the grid. Bottas had to be content with second position. Hamilton extended his lead to 55 points in the drivers’ championship.
Albon kept his cool and finally secured the elusive maiden podium of his career. Ricciardo was in contention for a podium position and finished in a creditable fourth position.
Pérez managed to stay ahead of Norris to finish in fifth position. Daniil Kvyat kept himself out of trouble to finish in seventh position, his best result for the season.
Leclerc finished in eighth position after three pit stops at Ferrari’s 1000th race. Räikkönen finished in ninth position after a five-second penalty was added to his time for crossing the white line at the entry of the pit lane.
Vettel took the final point of the race as he finished in tenth position to give Ferrari a double-point finish at this historic race for the team.
Russell finished in eleventh position even though he ran in the points for most of the race. The young Briton lost out at the final restart. Grosjean was the final driver who finished the race.
The frenetic 2020 Formula 1 season will resume in two weeks time at the Sochi Grand Prix in Russia (25 to 27 September 2020).
Race Results of the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix:
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||2:19:35.060||59||26|
|2||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||+4.880s||59||18|
|3||23||Alexander Albon||THA||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||+8.064s||59||15|
|4||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Renault DP World F1 Team||+10.417s||59||12|
|5||11||Sergio Pérez||MEX||BWT Racing Point Formula One Team||+15.650s||59||10|
|6||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||+18.883s||59||8|
|7||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||+21.756s||59||6|
|8||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||+28.345s||59||4|
|9||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing||+29.770s||59||2|
|10||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Scuderia Ferrari||+29.983s||59||1|
|11||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Racing||+32.404s||59||0|
|12||8||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Haas F1 Team||+42.036s||59||0|
|13||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||BWT Racing Point Formula One Team||DNF||42||0|
|14||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Renault DP World F1 Team||DNF||7||0|
|15||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||DNF||6||0|
|16||20||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||DNF||5||0|
|17||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing||DNF||5||0|
|18||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||McLaren F1 Team||DNF||5||0|
|19||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||DNF||0||0|
|20||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||DNF||0||0|