Lewis Hamilton clinched a comfortable win at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Hamilton’s ninth win of the season and ninety-third win of his career also saw the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team seal a record seventh consecutive constructors’ championship.
Valtteri Bottas finished in second position after he started in pole position and led during the initial laps but had to deal with a damaged floor as he ran over debris. Daniel Ricciardo secured a second podium in three races as he benefited from the misfortune of Max Verstappen’s late retirement .
The race started under cool conditions with air temperatures at 17 degrees C and track temperatures at 23 degrees C at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Italy. Bottas was in pole position and started on the medium compound tyres with team-mate Hamilton on the first row.
Verstappen was also on the medium compound tyres. All the other drivers in the top 10 were on the soft compound tyres. All the other drivers from eleventh-place onwards were on the medium compound tyres. Bottas made a good start even as Hamilton was overtaken by Verstappen on the first lap.
Ricciardo gained a place to take fourth position. At the back, Sebastian Vettel and Kevin Magnussen tangled and the Danish driver was spun around. Lance Stroll also pitted for a front-wing change after he tangled with Esteban Ocon.
By lap 5, Hamilton was within DRS-range of Verstappen but on this hard to overtake track he could not make any progress. Bottas had an over two second lead over Verstappen.
On lap 9, Gasly retired due to overheating issues. On lap 11, Antonio Giovinazzi triggered the first of the pit stops and rejoined in seventeenth position. On lap 14, Charles Leclerc, Ocon and Lando Norris pitted and Leclerc rejoined in thirteenth position.
On lap 19, Verstappen pitted for the hard compound tyres and rejoined in third position. On the next lap, Bottas also pitted for the hard compound tyres and rejoined in second position.
But Hamilton stayed out and started pumping in consecutive fastest laps and extended his lead over Bottas and Verstappen to over twenty-eight seconds. This was the crucial phase of the race when Hamilton laid the groundwork for his win.
Meanwhile Magnussen was in eighth position and was holding up a train of faster cars led by Ricciardo with Leclerc, Alexander Albon, Daniil Kvyat, Carlos Sainz and Norris behind. On lap 27, Ricciardo finally got past Magnussen followed by Leclerc.
Sergio Pérez pitted after a long first stint on lap 28 and rejoined in seventh position. On the next lap, Ocon pulled off the track with a clutch problem. The Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was deployed briefly and Hamilton pitted for the hard compound tyres and rejoined in first position.
Hamilton had a comfortable lead of over four seconds to Bottas now. Bottas had started to struggle with the damaged floor from debris and had Verstappen in hot pursuit. Finally on lap 43, Verstappen overtook Bottas to take second position.
Kimi Räikkönen ran in fourth position and extended his first stint until lap 49 and pitted for the soft compound tyres and rejoined in twelfth position. But on lap 51, Verstappen suffered a catastrophic right rear-tyre failure which brought out the Safety Car (SC).
Hamilton and Bottas pitted under the SC for soft compound tyres and rejoined in the lead. Pérez pitted and rejoined in seventh position. Behind the SC, George Russell spun and lost yet another opportunity to score a point.
On the restart, Hamilton was safely away and soon had a lead of over two seconds from Bottas. Kvyat had a superb restart that saw him get past Leclerc and then he challenged Ricciardo for the final podium position. Pérez overtook Albon for sixth position and Albon then with an unforced error spun and dropped down the order.
Hamilton then cruised to his ninth win of the season and took the extra point for the fastest lap. The Briton extended his lead over Bottas in the drivers’ championship to 85 points. Bottas once again could not convert his pole position into a win and had to be content with second position. The Mercedes 1-2 also helped the team clinch a record seventh consecutive constructors’ title. Hamilton’s seventh title now seems only a matter of time.
Ricciardo clinched his second podium for the Renault DP World F1 Team and now lies in a remarkable fourth position in the drivers’ championship. Kvyat with fourth position brought home good points for the Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda team.
Leclerc took fifth position after another well-crafted race and now lies in fifth position in the drivers’ championship. Pérez continued his point scoring streak and could have taken the final podium position if the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team had not pitted him under the Safety Car losing track position.
The two McLaren F1 Team drivers, Sainz and Norris, finished in seventh and eighth position. Räikkönen finished in ninth position after a good first stint. Giovinazzi clinched the final solitary point after he started dead last.
The Formula 1 teams will reassemble in two weeks time for the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park (12 to 15 Nov 2020).
2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Race Results:
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:28:32.430||63||26|
|2||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||+5.783s||63||18|
|3||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Renault DP World F1 Team||+14.320s||63||15|
|4||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||+15.141s||63||12|
|5||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||+19.111s||63||10|
|6||11||Sergio Pérez||MEX||BWT Racing Point Formula One Team||+19.652s||63||8|
|7||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||McLaren F1 Team||+20.230s||63||6|
|8||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||+21.131s||63||4|
|9||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing||+22.224s||63||2|
|10||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing||+26.398s||63||1|
|11||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||+27.135s||63||0|
|12||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Scuderia Ferrari||+28.453s||63||0|
|13||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||BWT Racing Point Formula One Team||+29.163s||63||0|
|14||8||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Haas F1 Team||+32.935s||63||0|
|15||23||Alexander Albon||THA||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||+57.284s||63||0|
|NC||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Racing||DNF||51||0|
|NC||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||DNF||50||0|
|NC||20||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||DNF||47||0|
|NC||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Renault DP World F1 Team||DNF||27||0|
|NC||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||DNF||8||0|