Formula 1

PREVIEW: 2020 Formula 1 Tuscan Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello

4 Mins read
Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

The ninth round of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship will be making a trip to Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello for the first time in Formula 1 race history. This is the last race of the third triple-header this year.

The Tuscan Grand Prix is a brand-new race this year that was brought in after the cancellation of multiple races due to Coronavirus. It is also the second race held in Italy on the 2020 calendar.

The circuit has previously been used by Formula 1 drivers for testing in the 2012 season and gained high praise. Rubens Barrichello has set the unofficial track record of 1:18:704 but aspect that to be easily beaten this coming weekend. 

The track, which is owned by Scuderia Ferrari, will be where the Italian team will have their 1000th race in Formula 1.

For the first time this year, spectators will be allowed at the race. A maximum of 3,000 fans will be allowed in to watch the race in the Tuscan hills.

What happened at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix

The Italian Grand Prix had a shake-up that all Formula 1 fans had been waiting for. For the first time this year, there was no Mercedes or Red Bull on the podium. Instead we had Pierre Gasly in the Scuderia AlphaTauri in first, Carlos Sainz Jr. for McLaren Racing in second and Lance Stroll from BWT Racing Point in third.

To say the race was eventful is an understatement. Around lap 20, Kevin Magnussen had issues with his Haas car. He had to stop on the side of the track causing a safety car. During the safety car, Lewis Hamilton, who was running in first, and Antonio Giovinazzi pitted but didn’t notice the lights to say the pit lane was closed.

This was investigated after the safety car went in but in the same lap, Charles Leclerc lost control of his car and went into the tyre wall at Parabolica, causing another safety car. Most of the cars were able to pit but the session had to be red flagged due to the tyre wall being damaged and needed to be fixed.

Amongst all the madness, Hamilton and Giovinazzi were given a ten second stop-go penalty each.

Pierre Gasly had decided to bite the bullet and pit before any of the action happened so on the standing restart, he was fifth, behind Hamilton, Lance Stroll, Giovinazzi and Kimi Räikkönen

On the first lap after the restart, Gasly got by Stroll and Räikkönen and was promoted to first after Hamilton and Giovinazzi took their penalties.

Even though Gasly had some late pressure from Sainz Jr. he never seemed off the pace and took the win across the finish line.

The Circuit

The 5.245km Mugello circuit has 15 corners are a mixture of medium to high speed, with no really tight chicanes or big braking zones. Located in the Tuscan hills, there are quite a few elevation changes. 

Mugello is quite a narrow track and some bumps which adds an old-school feel to the track. The asphalt is quite aggressive so tyre management is a must. It was last resurfaced in 2011.

There will be a total of 59 laps making the total race distance 309.455km race distance.

Sectors corners and DRS zones

Sector 1 consists of Turn 1 to Turn 5. It starts with a right-hand turn into San Donato (Turn 1) one of the main action points of the race. It then quickly follows through Luco and Poggio Secco (Turns 2 and 3) before finishing off the sector going into the quick corners of Materassi and Borgo San Lorenzo (Turns 4 and 5).

Sector 2 consists of Turn 6 to Turn 11. You fly into Casanova (Turn 6) another action point, before following into Savelli, Arrabbiata 1 and 2 (Turns 7, 8 and 9)Scarperia and Palagio (Turns 10 and 11) are a near copycat of Materassi and Borgo San Lorenzo with the quickness.

The final Sector 3 consists of Turn 12 to Turn 15Correntaio, the last action point on the track, Biondetti 1 and 2 make up Turns 12, 13 and 14 before heading into the final corner of the race Bunice at Turn 15.

There is just the one DRS detection zone at Mugello. The DRS detection zone is just before turn 15 ready to be used on the start straight.

Credit: Pirelli Media

Tyre strategy

Due to September being quite hot in Italy, Pirelli have chosen the three hardest compounds for the Tuscan Grand Prix.

The white-striped hard tyres (C1), the yellow-striped medium tyres (C2) and the red-striped soft tyres (C3) are the tyres nominated for this race.

All drivers will have eight sets of the soft compound tyres, three of the mediums and two of the hards as it has been in the previous eight races.

What should we look out for this year?

Going into the race, Lewis Hamilton sits on top of the Drivers’ Championship, leading by 47 point’s. His nearest competitior being team-mate Valtteri Bottas on 117 points closely followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on 110 points.

As most of the races this year, Hamilton will be favourite to top the podium but after the events of Monza, fans will be hoping for another shake up.

After a bit of a low point, McLaren due Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris are looking fresh and are looking the strongest of the midfield pack.

Ferrari will be looking for the best result they can get after a double retirement at Monza. Sebastian Vettel was the first retirement of the race after enduring brake issues at Turn 1 and slamming into the bollards. Charles Leclerc caused the session to be red flagged after crashing into the tyre wall at Parabolica.

Renault have been stronger this year than previous, really getting themselves in the mix of the battle for third with Racing Point, McLaren and Ferrari.

Whats the schedule?

Friday 11 September

10:00 BST / 11:00 Local Time – Free Practice One

14:00 BST / 15:00 Local Time – Free Practice Two

Saturday 12 September

11:00 BST / 12:00 Local Time – Free Practice Three

14:00 BST / 15:00 Local Time – Qualifying

Sunday 13 September

14:10 BST / 15:10 Local Time – Race

How can I keep up with the action?

Follow all the action at the Checkered Flag with our extensive coverage, quotes and analysis of every session of the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix.

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