15-09-2020

The six-time F1 champion captures the 90th win of his F1 career at a crash-strewn Tuscan Grand Prix that was red flagged twice

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Mugello has 2,800 fans at the track today, as spectators make a welcome return to F1

This is a special day for Ferrari, and their contribution to F1 has been honored at this racecard

Ferrari celebrated their 1000th Formula One race by having Mick Schumacher drove his father Michael's 2004 title-winning Ferrari around Mugello before the Tuscan Grand Prix.

The F2 star razzed his father's F2004 around the Italian track ahead of lights out in a tribute to the F1 legend as he continues to battle for his life after a horrific skiing accident seven years ago.

Dressed in Ferrari's red overalls, the 21-year-old sped round the old school circuit in the dominant car his father won 13 out of 20 races on the way to his seventh and final World Championship in 2004.

Lap 1 Bottas gets an excellent start and flies past Hamilton off the grid. Carlos Sainz spins, and Max Verstappen is into the gravel and out of the race. The safety car is out. What a dramatic start.

Gasly tangled with Raikkonen off the start, Sainz spun and Verstappen was rear ended after struggling off the start, maybe due to the pre-race issues he had.

I’ve got no power,” Verstappen shouted down the radio as he was swallowed up by the cars behind him before the first corner. It got worse when Raikkonen ploughed into the back of him. Hamilton had no answer to Bottas, who almost pointed his way past the world champion before racing into the lead. We’re still awaiting the restart, but this looks like being some race.

Mugello has served up drama within its first few seconds of F1 racing

On restart, will Hamilton be able to snatch back the lead (that was on everyone s mind)

Bottas bolted away at the restart but there’s a huge crash at the back. There is debris everywhere. The safety car is back out.

Red flag after huge pile-up at the restart

There are only 14 cars left in the race after another huge pile-up. Bottas left it to the last second to speed off after the safety car, but the cars at the back had already started racing, and had nowhere to go.

Latifi, Magnussen, Giovinazzi and Sainz are now out of the race , along with Gasly and Verstappen. That means the top two from last week’s Italian Grand Prix are no longer with us here.

Thankfully all the drivers seemed to have walked away unhurt.

We went three years without a red flag, and now have had two in the last two races. Only 13 cars will start to race this time. We’re almost ready for the third attempt to start this race, the second from the grid. How many will make it to the chequered flag? ( Keep thinking, as we had seen high drama in just starting 11 laps)
Third restart.

Lewis roars away and overtook Bottas at the first corner. Revenge for the first start. Leclerc is in third, Stroll is fourth and Perez is fifth. Hamilton’s car was smoking at the restart but he picked up Bottas’s slipstream and his teammate was no match for his speed.

Hamilton posts the fastest lap, and opens up a 2 sec gap on Bottas. Vettel is last but one in 12th place, but Leclerc is going well in third. Is a podium position possible at Ferrari’s home track in their 1000th race? There’s along way to go.

Game on for Ferrari! Vettel surges past Raikkonen on the outside to go into 11th. Leclerc continues to hold off Stroll in third. On lap 19. Ricciardo is absolutely flying. He roars up to the rear of Leclerc and then swoops past with ease. That was pure DRS, and painful for the tifossi fans in the stands. Leclerc is going backwards. The Ferraris are so slow on the straights and Albon roars past into fifth. The dream is fading at Mugello. Hamilton’s lead over Bottas remains at 2 second, while Stroll is a further back 12 seconds, with Ricciardo on his heels. (Silver arrows are in their own league with no one to match their cars in F1) No one can touch Hamilton out front. A win here would move him within one of Michael Schumacher’s record.

On lap 43 Stroll goes into the gravel and the safety car was out. Bottas pitted straight away and Hamilton didn’t. Will this be crucial? Stroll’s race is over. That’s a real shame for Stroll, who was chasing another podium, tyre puncture was the problem.

Second red flag of the race

Bottas will sense a huge opportunity here. He passed Hamilton off the grid at the start, before Hamilton did the same to him after the first red flag. The headwind gives the driver in second the advantage it seems, and both times previously the leader has had no answer off the grid.

Restart Hamilton got a good start and reaches the first corner in front, but Ricciardo gets an even better one. He’s taken Bottas to go second. Oh Bottas ( it’s just not his day )!

But Bottas hits back at Ricciardo and whips round the outside. Ricciardo bowed to the inevitable there, It’s the podium finish he wants, no point in fighting the silver arrows. Albon is fourth and Perez fifth. This battle for third promises to be quite something. Raikkonen is handed a 5 second time penalty that will be added after the race. He’s one of four drivers without a point this season, and he’s in eight currently. Albon is up into fourth. He’s never been on the podium before but he swooped past Ricciardo there. The Red Bull team erupts in joy. Both Ferraris are in the points. They’re only ninth and 10th, and Russell is closing, but they’re clawing back some respectability at their home track. Bottas narrows the gap on Hamilton to 1.4sec but he is frustratingly just out of DRS range. That poor restart ruined his victory chances.

The race was punctuated by two red flags, the first caused by a pile-up on the pit straight, the second by a high-speed crash for Lance Stroll.

In one of the most dramatic races for years, six cars had retired before a lap of racing had completed.

Red Bull's Thai-British driver Alex Albon took a maiden podium in third.

Hamilton's win was his sixth in nine races this season and, coupled with a fastest lap secured on the penultimate tour, it extended his championship lead to 55 points as the season passes halfway, and puts him just one behind Michael Schumacher's all-time record of wins.

What caused the huge pile-up?

Amid the sequence of incidents and crashes, the victory hinged on three standing starts between the Mercedes drivers.

In the first, Hamilton got away poorly from pole position and lost the lead to Bottas, but racing lasted only three corners because of a crash between Kimi Raikkonen's Alfa Romeo, Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly and Haas driver Romain Grosjean.

The incident also took out Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who had been struck by engine problems as he accelerated away from third on the grid.

That led to a safety car, and at the restart, as Bottas bunched up the field down the pit straight, there was a massive crash towards the back of the field.

Haas' Kevin Magnussen accelerated and then slowed, he said because of cars doing the same in front of him. Williams driver Nicholas Latifi swerved to avoid him and Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi then cannoned into Magnussen.

McLaren's Carlos Sainz then hit the back of the cars of both Giovinazzi and Magnussen, pitching the Alfa 90 degrees into the air before it came down on all four wheels.

What's next

A welcome two-week break after nine races in 11 weeks before the Russian Grand Prix, where Hamilton can equal a record some felt might never be broken - Schumacher's haul of 91 victories.

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About Author
Farzad Bhagat
Farzad Bhagat

It is said that Parsi's are born with a different vein for cars, however Farzad, was born with a different vein for F1. F1 is in his bloods, and he is someone who can constantly chatter about races and evolution of F-1. 

He started watching races in the early 2000's and has been an ardent Ferrari Fan, like any one of us. While, he has a soft spot for German Drivers, the best driver on the grid undoubtedly is legendary Micheal Schumacher 

 




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