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F1 Tuscan GP 2020 Winners And Losers

Madness at Mugello can’t alter a familiar result

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Lewis Hamilton won the first-ever Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas had us wishing that Nico Rosberg hadn’t retired from F1 after winning the title in 2016. That would not begin to describe the chaotic 59-lap race that had to be red-flagged and restarted twice with only 12 of the 20 drivers finishing. Mercedes could have been challenged by Red Bull Racing-Honda’s Max Verstappen, but he became a non-factor early in the race. 



Lewis Hamilton: The six-time F1 champion, who is already in the most dominant F1 team of all-time, started from pole position and was close to being demoted to third at the start of the race. However, a freak electrical issue prevented Max Verstappen from stealing second place from him. A safety car period and then a restart ensured that Valtteri Bottas was kept in check. Once past his teammate, Hamilton controlled the pace of the race as he normally does while his Finnish teammate couldn’t keep up. His sixth win in the nine races of the season, so far, was also his 90th career victory. Another win in the Russian GP in two weeks time will tie him for the most number of wins by an F1 driver.

Alexander Albon: This should have been the Thai driver’s third career podium finish, but we all know of his history with Lewis Hamilton that denied him on the previous two occasions. With Hamilton too far ahead to bother him, and Max Verstappen out of the running, Albon had a great chance to score at least third. It was hardly a routine affair, however. But through the chaos of the crashes and retirements, Albon rose to steal third place from Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.


Daniel Ricciardo - Rightfully voted as the driver of the day, the likeable Australian came close to making Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul honour a very important promise.  Abiteboul had promised to get a tattoo if Ricciardo scored the team’s first podium since its return to F1 in 2016. Ricciardo’s fourth-place finish could have been a podium had the second and final red flag period not allowed all drivers to change to soft tyres with just 12 laps left in the race. Before that, he had appeared to be far ahead enough from Albon. It was a long shot, but the restart made a podium finish a near impossibility. Still, the finish means that Renault is just nine points behind Racing Point-BWT Mercedes in the constructors’ championship. 



Valtteri Bottas: There may as well be no second Mercedes driver. Bottas’ inability to trouble Hamilton on raceday Sundays has made F1 fans miss 2016 champion Nico Rosberg. Bottas got unlucky as the frequent stoppages didn’t allow him to try and control the race from the front. However, it looked unlikely that he was ever a serious contender for a victory. Maybe F1 fans should petition for Max Verstappen or Charles Leclerc to be put in the second Mercedes to spice up the show a bit.


Max Verstappen: Through no fault of his own, the only driver who has looked likely to beat the Mercedes drivers on merit was not a factor in the race. A major electrical fault halted his bid to take advantage of a slow start by Hamilton and then the opening lap melee put him out of the race. The high-speed corners of Mugello also suited the Red Bull Racing-Honda chassis. Pressure from Verstappen could have caused Hamilton and Bottas to push their tyres to the breaking point. Sadly, this shall go down as a what if. 


Ferrari - Brief early cheer for Ferrari in their 1,000th race gave way to a harsh shot of reality. Charles Leclerc had managed to jump into third place after qualifying fifth before the cars behind started to shoot past the Ferrari. Poor straight line speed made Leclerc vulnerable and forced him to switch to a strategy that had him going on hard tyres. Eighth was the best he could manage after that, while Vettel was tenth out of the 12 drivers who finished the chaotic race.

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