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Tuscan Grand Prix – Two red flags ... and a new combo on the podium ... Albon joins Hamilton and Bottas


 

Mugello, 13 September, 2020

 

Weather: sunny, 27.9-27.6°C air, 45.5-36.1°C track

 

  • Lewis secured the 90th victory of his career, his sixth of the 2020 season and first at the Tuscan Grand Prix.
  • Valtteri crossed the finish line in P2 - completing a 1-2 finish for the team.
  • This result marks the 100th F1 win of the modern era for Mercedes.
  • Lewis has now scored 222 points finishes, which is a new F1 record.
  • The result caps off a successful day for the team and our partners, after our junior driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli clinched the FIA Karting European Championship and Petronas Yamaha SRT took victory in MotoGP’s race at Misano.
  • Lewis (190 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 55 points from Valtteri (135 points)
  • The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (325 points) leads Red Bull Racing (173 points) by 152 points in the Constructors’ Championship

 

Ferrari 1000 GP will be remembered for many reasons. The difficulties and spectacular nature of the Mugello circuit, the track owned by Ferrari and making its debut on the Formula 1 calendar, will be recalled for the return of spectators to the grandstands, for the Italian national anthem sung by Andrea Bocelli and the excitement before the race start of seeing Mick Schumacher doing five laps in the F2004, the Scuderia’s most successful car as raced by his father Michael. However, it won’t be remembered for the race result with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel finishing eighth and tenth. This was at the end of a chaotic race, red flagged twice, thus featuring three starts off the grid.

Start. When the lights went out, Charles got the perfect getaway, going from fifth to third, even getting alongside Lewis Hamilton in second. But at turn 2, there was a collision between Carlos Sainz’s McLaren and Lance Stroll’s Racing Point. At this point, Seb arrived to find the McLaren across his path sideway and was unable to avoid it, damaging the front wing. A bit further back, Kimi Räikkönen, Romain Grosjean, Pierre Gasly and Max Verstappen collided, with the AlphaTauri and Red Bull finishing up in the gravel, bringing out the Safety Car. The race resumed eight laps later, Charles was third while Seb was thirteenth and last. There was barely time for the race to get going before it was red flagged once more after a big collision on the start line.

Second start. The second start saw Charles again get away well to stay third, while Seb immediately got ahead of Grosjean in the Haas to go 12th. Soon Leclerc was struggling to run at a good pace and was overtaken by several cars, so the decision was taken to pit at the end of lap 22 to go for a change of strategy and a set of Hards. The same tactic was tried with Vettel on lap 29. On lap 38, the team called Charles in again fitting Mediums to his SF1000. Shortly after, Lance Stroll crashed at Arrabbiata 2, bringing out the Safety Car yet again and once more that was soon changed to a red flag. There hadn’t been anything similar happen since Brazil in 2016. Before the stop, Seb pitted for a set of Softs.

Third start. Third time off the grid, with 13 laps to go, Charles was eighth on the grid with Seb tenth. The Ferraris did not get the best of starts this time, Charles losing two places and Seb dropping down to eleventh. Leclerc soon passed Grosjean and set off after Räikkönen, who had been given a five second penalty for crossing the white line at the pit lane entry. Vettel also got past the Frenchman and crossed the line tenth, behind his team-mate who was classified ahead of Raikkonen, once the penalty was applied.




Lewis Hamilton #44F1 W11 EQ Performance /01Today was one of the most challenging days, physically and mentally, I’ve experienced. I’m pretty exhausted to be honest, but it feels fantastic to win such a crazy race. It’s all a bit of a daze and felt like three races in one day. It was incredibly tough out there, this track is phenomenal and Valtteri was pushing me hard, so it wasn’t easy at all. With all the restarts and the focus that was required, it was really hard. The first start wasn’t great and I lost the place to Valtteri, but then the second start was better and I got the place back. I had a comfortable advantage after that point but then there was another red flag. Anything could have happened on those restarts but fortunately on the last one, I got my best start of the day and was able to maintain my position. Valtteri was always right there with me and I couldn’t make a single mistake, otherwise he’d be right there to pass me on the straight. A huge thank you to the team here at the track and back at the factories for all their hard work to make this result possible, and this is a brilliant circuit, so I’d love to come back in the future.


Valtteri Bottas #77
F1 W11 EQ Performance /03

It feels like we had three races today and it was really tough out there. The first part of the race went well for me, but also was pretty short. I had a dream start and maintained my position on the first Safety Car restart. Once I lost the position to Lewis on the second start, it was really tricky to get it back. I did everything I could and was pushing really hard, especially in the middle stint so I could maintain the distance. But when you are behind, you need to slide the car more and that uses up your tyres. There weren’t many opportunities once I lost the place, but that’s how it goes, and I just need to keep pushing and keep trying to get better. And that’s what I’ll do.


Toto Wolff
What an unbelievable race today with so many red flags and restarts. There was so much going on and it proved to be quite a tough day for all the teams. First of all, I’m glad to see that everybody is safe and okay after the incidents during today’s race. The crash on the main straight looked very scary, as did Lance’s off. For us, it was a great race and a fantastic result for the team with a 1-2 finish at Mugello. Both of our drivers put in very strong performances and it’s just what we’d hoped for. Well done to everyone in the team. To extend the lead in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships feels good and now we have one weekend off, before we go again in Russia.


Andrew Shovlin

That’s the 100th win since Mercedes returned to F1 as a manufacturer in 2010 and a really proud milestone for everyone in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart. What a race though! Plenty of starts kept it pretty exciting. Lewis lost out at the first one with a bit of wheelspin off the line. Valtteri also had a tough time with marbles on the left-hand side of the grid for the final restart and lost a place to Riccardo. The Safety Car restart was probably more challenging than the race start itself. We’d spent a long time this morning talking it through, we knew that the Safety Car lights would go out really late which meant the lead driver can’t go early as everyone will sit in their tow and pass. Valtteri was controlling the pace at that stage and timed it well, but behind him it looked like a few cars had gone slightly too early and it caused a bit of chaos which brought out the red flag. It was one of those races where it’s normally hard to stay in front, as it’s so hard to guess what’s going to happen next. But the team and drivers did a fantastic job and it’s a really nice way to finish this triple header.

Daniel Ricciardo #3
I’m really happy with today’s race and we’re so close to the podium again. It was a long day, a long race with the stoppages and incidents, but the main thing is that all the drivers are okay. It looked like we were on for third towards the end of the race, so it’s a shame to come so close. We can’t get any closer than that and we’ll keep pushing. Our starts were good, we got Valtteri [Bottas], but he and Alex [Albon] were just too quick to hold on. It hurts not to be on the podium after that, but fourth is still a big result today.

Esteban Ocon #31
We had a brake overheating issue, which is why we had to retire today. Under the Safety Car, the rear brakes were on fire, which caused damage to the rear of the car and the brake line and we couldn’t put the car back together during the red flag. We were in a good position at the start, but I had to go around, Carlos [Sainz] and I lost a couple of positions there. I felt we had the pace for solid points. It looked a cool race to be in with lots going on. It’s getting pretty crazy this year, which is interesting and there are more opportunities for big results.

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG

 

“A very good result to get back in the points, although there still is the feeling we could have achieved more with a cleaner race. It was a very tough afternoon in which many things didn’t go in our favour, and to bring home a top ten finish shows the strength and resilience of this team. To see a big chunk of floor and a front wing come off Kimi’s car before the first lap was over and to lose Antonio from the race at the restart were big blows, but we dug deep and did all we could to turn the weekend around. The very eventful race, and the fact that Kimi was forced to drive a damaged car for the whole race, mean our progress was somewhat masked, but to be able to open a gap to our rivals big enough to almost nullify the penalty we suffered in the closing stages shows how much of a step forward we have made. We are definitely going in the right direction and we can take a lot of motivation from today’s result.”


Kimi Räikkönen #7
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 05/Ferrari)

“It was definitely not the smoothest of races but we finally managed to bring home some points, so we can be pleased about that. My race started pretty badly, I am not sure what exactly happened at turn two but I was hit and suffered a lot of damage. Probably whoever hit me didn’t expect the pack to slow as much as we did, but in any case the crash took away part of my floor and my front wing. The damage made the handling of the car really bad and we struggled with the balance: we lost a lot of downforce but in the end we were still able to push at a decent pace. I had a slow pit stop but thankfully the second red flag got us back in the fight. Then I had a penalty for crossing the pit entry line, which didn’t help, but after the second red flag I was still able to do some good laps and in the end only lost one place. It was far from the perfect execution of a race but, despite all the issues, we still brought home two important points. It’s still a bit of a shame as we have made some good progress and I think we could have finished even higher with a cleaner afternoon, but hopefully we will carry the performance to the next few events.”


Antonio Giovinazzi #99
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)

“It’s really frustrating to end a race like this, without having really raced a single lap, although I am happy for the team scoring points. I had made another good start, climbing to P14: I felt at ease in the car and who knows how the race could have gone. There’s not much I can say about the crash except that it was a very dangerous situation. Everyone around me was already up at full speed, but suddenly there was [Kevin] Magnussen almost stopped in the middle of the track. [Nicholas] Latifi avoided him but I just didn’t have the time – I tried to, but clipped his rear left. Thankfully, nobody got injured but it was a very dangerous crash. With such a long straight, this was always going to be an issue and we have to think on how to avoid this situation happening again in the future.”Daniel took the chequered flag just 2.3seconds away from third place after a pulsating 59-lap race in Italy, which ran just short of two and a half hours with a flurry of incidents meaning the race had to restart twice.


Charles Leclerc #16

“I had a great start, making my way to P3. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace we needed to keep this position and finished in 8th place. I tried to fight as much as I could, but it just wasn’t enough today. Lots of things happened in the race, but one thing hasn’t changed, which is that we have to work hard to improve our performance.

The race itself was quite fun. I was happy every time there was a standing start because it was an opportunity for us to try and fight for positions.

The car was quite difficult to drive, especially on the Hard tyres. Towards the end it became a bit better on the Softs, but overall, it’s very tough at the moment, so we need to keep our heads up and stay motivated. It’s very important to keep this in mind in times like these. Hopefully we will see better times coming soon.”


Sebastian Vettel #5

“The start was not the best, but then I had a good run into Turn 1 staying on the inside, out of trouble. Then when I came round Turn 2, I saw that the McLaren had spun, but I couldn’t avoid making contact.

Luckily, with the Safety Car deployed we could change the wing and rejoin the field. I would have loved to capitalise a little bit more on other people’s mistakes, but at least we were quite lucky to generally stay out of trouble. The positive thing is that we were able to finish in the points, but of course we can’t be happy with our position.”

Mattia Binotto Team Principal
“A very disappointing result brings to an end an historic weekend for Scuderia Ferrari at our home track, Mugello, with our one thousandth Formula 1 Grand Prix.

While yesterday, at least with Charles we managed to get a result in line with our expectations, today we didn’t have the pace to allow our drivers to fight with their nearest rivals, suffering especially with tyre degradation.

Both Charles and Sebastian did the best they could, given the performance level of the car. We are working hard to try and correct its basic faults, but it’s not something that can be done in a short space of time, nor with a few updates. That doesn’t mean we won’t be bringing new solutions between now and the end of the season, but we have to be realistic with ourselves and with our fans.”


A break
The Mugello race was the last of the third triple-header of the season. Now the championship has a break of two weeks before the circus assembles again at the Sochi Autodrom from 25 to 27 September for the Russian Grand Prix.

 

1

44

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes-AMG

2:19:35.060

59

2

77

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes-AMG

+ 4.880

59

3

23

Alexander Albon

Red Bull

+ 8.064

59

4

3

Daniel Ricciardo

Renault

+ 10.417

59

5

11

Sergio Pérez

Racing Point

+ 15.650

59

6

4

Lando Norris

McLaren

+ 18.883

59

7

26

Daniil Kvyat

AlphaTauri

+ 21.756

59

8

16

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

+ 28.345

59

9

7

Kimi Räikkönen *

Alfa Romeo

+ 29.770

59

10

5

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

+ 29.983

59

11

63

George Russell

Williams

+ 32.404

59

12

8

Romain Grosjean

Haas F1 Team

+ 42.036

59

NC
4

18

Lance Stroll

Racing Point

 

42
accident Tire

NC
10

31

Esteban Ocon

Renault

 

7 Breakes

NC
12

6

Nicholas Latifi

Williams

 

5 accident at restart

NC
12

20

Kevin Magnussen

Haas F1 Team

 

5 accident at restart

NC
14

99

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo

 

5 accident at restart

NC
15

55

Carlos Sainz jr.

McLaren

 

5 accident at restart

NC
19

33

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

 

0 accident

NC
20

10

Pierre Gasly

AlphaTauri

 

0 accident