Race Report: Hamilton wins chaotic Tuscan Grand Prix

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2020 Tuscan Grand Prix, Sunday - LAT Images

The Tuscan Grand Prix was quite a race replete with yellow flags, safety cars and red flag stoppage. Two red flags to be exact. The race took two hours and twenty five minutes to get completed due to the carnage and eight cars retired from the race.

Lewis Hamilton took victory out of the hands of Valtteri Bottas with Alex Albon picking up the baton from Max Verstappen to give Red Bull a 3rd place and Albon’s first podium.

The safety car chaos, standing restarts and even the carnage left behind but the rolling restart all added to the drama that was ultimately celebrating Ferrari’s 1,000th race in F1.

Win

A win for Mercedes who managed to take a 1, 2 finish maximizing points and choking the life out of a the constructor’s championship. The team managed to avoid Valtteri’s demand for a mid-race split strategy by keeping both drivers not the same strategy and this left Valtteri to either pass Lewis or beat him on the restarts.

A win for Alex Albon and Red Bull for a podium result and Alex’s first podium in F1. When Max Verstappen got punted out of the race, Alex picked up the baton and ran to the finish in third which is exactly what the team needed him to do. Alex needed the confidence and after being punted out of his last two podium possibilities by Lewis Hamilton, he finally got on the steps and sprayed champagne.

A win for Renault and Daniel Ricciardo for his 4th place finish. Dan was running in third but couldn’t hold on after the final restart. Regardless, Dan and Renault were in position on merit and not attrition. The reality is that if Max were still in the race, perhaps Dan would have finished 5th but it was not the attrition that handed Renault or Dan their result.

Fail

A fail for Valtteri Bottas who had bad luck in qualifying with the yellow flag on his final lap but failed to get the better of Lewis. To be fair, his team weren’t keen to provide him an alternate strategy than Lewis but there’s no guarantee that it would have worked either. Valtteri was also the architect of clunky restart but it is his pace to set and the midfield restarted the race before the front of the grid.

A fail for Red Bull’s “software” issues that cropped up on the grid and clearly impacted Max Verstappen into turn one and most likely would have seen the car retired.

SCARPERIA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 13: Third placed Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 passes his team celebrating on the pitwall during the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany at Mugello Circuit on September 13, 2020 in Scarperia, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202009130228 // Usage for editorial use only //

A fail for Ferrari who managed to cling on to 9th and 10th (Charles Leclerc gifted 8th due to Kimi Raikkonen’s penalty) and were beaten by their customer team on the race that was celebrating their 1,000th race in Formula 1.

It’s hard to give Williams F1 driver George Russell a fail for both getting into the points, even with 8 cars out of the race, but his restart was not good and it most likely cost him points.

WTH

A WTH for the midfield who decided to restart the race before the race leader did. It is a bit odd that Valtteri chose to wait so late to restart the race but the safety car turned its lights off a little later and it is his choice to set the restart pace and he chose to start much later than many fo the younger drivers are used to. The characteristics of the front straight were part of the equation to take it to the line before restarting. In the end, it is up to the trailing cars to manage their gaps and pace on the restart safely.

At the time of writing, Kevin Magnussen, Daniil Kvyat and Nicholas Latifi have all been summoned to the Stewards regarding the restart debacle.

A WTH for Lance Stroll and Racing Point for a massive shunt and at the time of writing this review, I am unclear and have not read what caused that crash. It did appear that a few laps prior to the crash, there were some bits that flew off the car and during the corner of the crash, there were bits that came off as well. Team boss, Otmar, said they will have to research it to figure out what happened but as Stroll had the new parts, they are destroyed in that crash.

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix, Sunday – LAT Images

Pirelli’s ‘Key Moments’

  • An exciting and action-packed Tuscan Grand Prix was characterised by two red flags and multiple safety car periods, meaning that teams had to react very quickly to rapidly changing circumstances, adapting their strategies to unfolding events and the tyres they had available.
  • Under the red flag regulations, teams are allowed to change tyres and make certain repairs to their cars. Mercedes dominated the race, with both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas leading at different points. They followed exactly the same strategy throughout the race, using all three compounds.
  • Red Bull’s Alex Albon scored his debut podium, ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo – who had gained crucial track position by strategically undercutting his key rivals earlier in the race. Ricciardo was voted driver of the day, while Williams driver George Russell claimed his best-ever race finish in 11th.
  • Only 12 drivers were classified at the finish of the Pirelli-sponsored Tuscan Grand Prix, which celebrated 1000 races for Ferrari.
POSDRIVERTEAMGAP
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team2h19m35.060s
2Valtteri BottasMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team4.880s
3Alexander AlbonAston Martin Red Bull Racing8.064s
4Daniel RicciardoRenault DP World F1 Team10.417s
5Sergio PerezBWT Racing Point F1 Team15.650s
6Lando NorrisMcLaren F1 Team18.883s
7Daniil KvyatScuderia AlphaTauri Honda21.756s
8Charles LeclercScuderia Ferrari28.345s
9Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN29.770s
10Sebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari29.983s
11George RussellWilliams Racing32.404s
12Romain GrosjeanHaas F1 Team42.036s
Lance StrollBWT Racing Point F1 TeamRetirement
Esteban OconRenault DP World F1 TeamBrakes
Nicholas LatifiWilliams RacingCollision
Kevin MagnussenHaas F1 TeamCollision
Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing ORLENCollision
Carlos Sainz Jr.McLaren F1 TeamCollision
Pierre GaslyScuderia AlphaTauri HondaCollision
Max VerstappenAston Martin Red Bull RacingCollision
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LrgVerstappenCollidr

Is it just me or does Hamilton say it was his most challenging race after each and every victory?

Fabio

He’s saying that this year more because he can’t compliment on having the best fans in whatever country he happens to be in.

Xean Drury

I may be alone in this, but has Hamilton taken a step across a line on his post race Black Lives Matter message? I have no problem with an athlete showing support for a cause, and I think HAM has done a lot of good for bringing awareness for BLM, but wearing a shirt demanding specific action be taken against specific individuals is a step too far, in my opinion. It’s the old ‘time and place for everything’. It was… awkward.

Xean Drury

My goodness, don’t you just have little birds everywhere XD

Worthless Opinion

Yeah, don’t hold your breath. They have more self preservation instinct than that.

Worthless Opinion

I can sympathize with his feeling pressure as a major figure to seem like he’s doing his part, but I agree that one was pretty weird. BLM is important, but even a traditionally lefty source like the Daily from the NYTimes has concluded Breonna Taylor’s apartment was a distribution site for drugs, the police had a warrant, her boyfriend shot at the police first and hit one cop, and then the police shot back in self defense, entirely within their rights. That’s not the hill I would choose to raise my flag on, and it kind of made him look… Read more »

Xean Drury

Boy! I really wish they would have mentioned the ‘Three Race Starts’ more often during the broadcast. 150 mentions fell short of my expectations of the apparent importance of it.

Xean Drury

Ha! That too. Just goes to show that when they have tonnes of stuff to talk about in such a crazy race, they still find nothing to talk about! :Þ

Worthless Opinion

As is so often the case, the ‘color commentator’ is the problem. Martin Brundle says something when there’s something to say, but they subscribe to the theory there can be no silence, so they have a guy whose main job is to keep talking at all costs. I could do without it, but it’s the standard setup across sports for whatever reason.

Xean Drury

At least they don’t have techno music to fill the gaps like Formula E did that first season. Cringy!!