Last week, the Italian Grand Prix entered its bid for the title of 2020’s most exciting race. One week later in Tuscany and it appears that has been one-upped.
After two red flags, three standing starts and a safety car, Lewis Hamilton would earn his 90th career Formula One victory. Valtteri Bottas would come home second, just losing out on the win after a less than stellar final start. For the first time in his career, Red Bull’s Alexander Albon would finally see himself on the podium. Albon would nip Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo a few laps from the finish, becoming the first Thai driver to sit on the podium as well as the first Asian driver to finish on the podium since Kamui Kobyashi in 2012.
Ricciardo would come home fourth, with Sergio Perez rounding out the top five.
Lando Norris and Daniil Kvyat would be sixth and seventh, respectively. Charles Leclerc, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel would round out the top 10. This finish would mark Ferrari’s second double points finish of 2020.
On the initial start, Hamilton spun the tires and allowed Bottas to jump past to the lead. However, the race would only continue about 500 metres until calamity. After bogging down on the start, Max Verstappen would be shuffled back about 10 positions. Heading into turn 3, contact between Gasly and Raikkonen would cause a crash taking out Verstappen in the process.
After a lengthy cleanup, the race would not even have a chance to start before the red flag would come out. After Haas’ Kevin Magnussen would have a problem, Antonio Giovanazzi would slam in the back of the Haas car. Giovanazzi would climb the back of Magnussen, collecting both Nicholas Latifi and Carlos Sainz in the process. The red flag would be displayed and after another lengthy delay the cars would line up for another standing start.
Getting around Bottas, Hamilton would check out, but not before Esteban Ocon would retire with a brake issue. As the race would start to settle down, the F1 gods would have one more trick up their sleeves.
Racing Point’s Lance Stroll would have a still unknown issue and make heavy contact into the barrier. The race would be red flagged for the second and final time on Lap 44. On the third and final standing start, it would be Ricciardo jumping Bottas with Hamilton checking out.
As Bottas would get around Ricciardo, Albon would hunt down the Australian. Passing him with a handful of laps to go to finally get his elusive first podium finish. For Mercedes, it would be the same old same old as Hamilton would take victory with Bottas coming home in second.
- Alexander Albon has had it rough these past few weeks. Underwhelming results and the sudden rise of Pierre Gasly have put Albon’s spot at Red Bull next year under question. After heart break during the season opener in Austria, Albon was more determined the ever to score the podium and prove his worth to team. While this podium is very good for Albon, he still isn’t confirmed for any team yet in 2021. But this podium serves as a chance for Albon make to make a good case to any team to bring him in, just in case Red Bull decides to let him go.
- George Russell gave it everything he had to get that first points finish, but came up just short. After easily dispatching Romain Grosjean, Russell would have to pass the former four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel. Russell put immense pressure on Vettel but ultimately come up short, missing out on the podium by one place. Russell would equal his best career finish and Williams’ best finish of the season. With Tuscany marking the first race for William under the new owners, both Latifi and Russell have been showing improved results each and every race.
- Finally a big round of applause for Ferrari. For once it what seems like forever, Ferrari actually seemed somewhat competitive during the race. Even though almost half the field didn’t finish, Ferrari was still able to put on a good show and score double points. With Leclerc in eighth and Vettel in 10th, this result give Ferrari fans a little glimmer of hope looking forward to the rest of the year.
- What will the new tracks have in store for F1? Mugello was F1’s first new track of the season and, luckily for the fans, there are still five more on the way. Imola, Nurburg, Istanbul, Portugal and a brand new layout at Bahrain will serve to amp up the excitement of an already intense F1 season. With Mugello creating one of 2020 most exciting races, the series, its fans and its drivers will be at the edge of their seats. While Imola, Istanbul and Nurburg aren’t exactly new to some of the drives, their extended absences and the advances in F1 technology make the tracks as good as new for the current crop of F1 talent.
- When will Williams finally get that first point? Both Williams drivers have been good in the equipment but have always come up one single point short. Latifi was 11th in both Austria and Italy, while Russell’s 11th in Tuscany was the teams third 11th of the season. With the 2020 season being one of attrition, it’s almost impossible that Williams doesn’t score at least one points finish this season. Look for the team to take advantage of the upcoming Grands Prix to finally break through.
The Formula One calendar will take a week of before heading up north to Sochi, Russia. The Sochi Autodrom will play host to the Russian Grand Prix on Sept. 27. The favorite heading into this race will Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, who has always put on a show at that track.