Pit lane chaos leads to an unexpected but thoroughly deserved win for Pierre Gasly and Alpha Tauri! 2020 Italian Grand Prix Review

What can I say after a race like the one we saw at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix? It does not happen often, but every so often you get a race where all of the usual suspects have difficulties and someone totally unexpected, a real underdog takes the glory of a Formula One race win. It was the first time since Australia 2013; 146 races since someone who did not drive for Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari took the chequered flag and the first race since Hungary 2012 neither team were on the podium. The race winner though [Pictured celebrating above; image from formula1.com], could not have been a more popular one!

It was a real rollercoaster of a Grand Prix weekend. It was an emotional farewell for Frank and Claire Williams in their last race in charge of the family team; the protest over the punishment handed out to Racing Point over the legality of their car closed and Renault announced they will be changing their name for 2021. The race saw a red flag for the first time since Baku 2017 and the first to see a standing restart rather than behind the Safety Car which really added something different. With the red flag coming halfway through and different strategies in play we got to see something of a reverse grid race and it was certainly entertaining. Qualifying on Saturday also marked the 5oth anniversary of Jochen Rindt’s death at Monza; F1’s only Posthmously crowned Champion.

This was also the first where the so-called ‘party mode’ engine modes in Qualifying were not in use. Instead, teams have to run the same engine mode from the beginning of Qualifying until the end of the race. Its implementation had been delayed from the Belgian Grand Prix and followed an FIA directive.

Well, it’s only been one Grand Prix weekend and so far it looked like the change made little difference. Mercedes were still the quickest team in outright pace and held an eight-tenths advantage over the next quickest car in Qualifying. The Honda-powered Red Bull seemed to struggle a little bit with Max Verstappen qualifying 5th; the lowest of the season but the driver suspects it was more circuit-specific. Racing Point, McLaren and Renault looked slightly closer to Mercedes while as expected Ferrari struggled and so too did Williams a little bit without the extra engine modes. The irony is, it was suspected Ferrari and Red Bull were more behind the push believing it would impact Mercedes more, but on the first impression, it has not had the desired effect.

Lewis Hamilton’s mighty Qualifying lap and officially the quickest F1 lap in history.

The end of the high-performance qualifying modes didn’t prevent Lewis Hamilton from taking his 94th career pole position with the quickest lap in F1 history! A phenomenal effort! The reigning world champion had a clean start and was comfortably on his way to his 90th career win until the Safety Car. Unusually the pit lane was closed but not noticing, Hamilton stopped for fresh tyres meaning he was landed with a 10 second stop and go penalty which could only be served in the immediate laps after the restart. From the lead, he dropped well behind the pack after serving the penalty but was able to bounce back from having ‘26 seconds to catch up to the next car’ with some terrific speed to finish 7th and taking the extra point for fastest lap. On a day it went wrong, it turned into a good damage limitation drive.

2020 Italian Grand Prix Qualifying Results

Q1: 1st Lewis Hamilton 1:19.514……………15th Alex Albon 1:21.104; 16th Romain Grosjean +0.035, 17th Sebastian Vettel +0.047, 18th Antonio Giovinazzi +0.102, 19th George Russell +0.483, 20th Nicholas Latifi +0.613

Q2: 1st Valtteri Bottas 1:18.952………10th Alex Albon 1:20.064; 11th Daniil Kvyat +0.105, 12th Esteban Ocon +0.170, 13th Charles Leclerc +0.209, 14th Kimi Raikkonen +0.662, 15th Kevin Magnussen +1.309

Q3: 1st Lewis Hamilton 1:18.887, 2nd Valtteri Bottas +0.069, 3rd Carlos Sainz +0.808, 4th Sergio Perez +0.833, 5th Max Verstappen +0.908, 6th Lando Norris +0.933, 7th Daniel Ricciardo +0.977, 8th Lance Stroll +1.162, 9th Alex Albon +1.203, 10th Pierre Gasly +1.290

On that penalty, the pit lane is rarely closed during Safety Car periods. Hamilton took responsibility post-race, ‘I didn’t see the boards saying the pit lane was closed because I was following the safety car delta on my dash, so I take responsibility for that ’ but in truth, it was both driver and team error.  No one with Mercedes at Monza noticed. Only someone in Mission Control back in Brackley did and that is reflected in Team Boss Toto Wolff’s comments, ‘We should have spotted earlier that the pit lane was closed, by the time that we did, the car was entering the pit lane.’ Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes engineering director though has since absolved Hamilton of any blame, ‘In reality, he’s not the best-placed person to spot this. We should have seen this on the pit wall. The team takes responsibility for it‘.

The incriminating evidence against Lewis Hamilton. [Sourced via Twitter/F1].

Hamilton’s explanation did not explain how every other driver bar Antonio Giovinazzi did not notice it. Watching it live, even the commentators did not notice until a few minutes after Hamilton had pitted, it was on page 4 of the pit wall dashboard apparently. That said, as soon as the footage came to light, the cross lights are visible on the outside of parabolica so it is a slam dunk. Could the light be on the inside? I don’t know if that would make any difference as they need to have precise vision to spot the lights at the speeds they travel at. Closing the pit lane does not happen often but given where Kevin Magnussen pulled up, it made sense. The penalties were the harshest available but worst-case scenario there could have been a marshall on track or ran into the stricken Haas so it makes sense to give that penalty.

Valtteri Bottas had a very disappointing Italian Grand Prix drive as he finished 5th. [Image from formual1.com].

Valtteri Bottas will be ruing his misfortune and inability to get the better of Hamilton when it matters. The Finn topped two practice sessions but fell just agonisingly shy in Qualifying. Still, from 2nd, he could challenge for the win. However, a slow start and poor opening lap saw him drop to 6th. He struggled in the traffic and while his teammate was able to carve his way back to 7th. Bottas only got passed Ricciardo in the pit stops and was unable to make any headway on track as ‘Every time I got close to another car, I had to back off due to the overheating or look for clean air on the straights’. It was a similar story after the restart as he was unable to pass Norris as he finished 5th. On a day his teammate struggled, he really needed to capitalise more.

Max Verstappen did not enjoy the Italian Grand Prix. [Image from The Express].

Max Verstappen in the Red Bull has so often been Mercedes nearest challenger in 2020 but it did not materialise at Monza with the best the Dutchman could manage being 5th. That’s where he qualified in Q3 after being pipped by Sainz and Perez for his worst qualifying of 2020. He wasn’t able to challenge in the race though after ‘…a very bad start with a lot of wheel spin when I dropped the clutch’ which saw him drop a couple of positions and was unable to progress being stuck in a DRS train. Pitting behind the Safety Car when the pit lane was reopened meant he was outside of the top 10 for the restart and after subsequently losing a couple of positions was forced to retire with a power unit issue. A second mechanical DNF of the season means his dwindling Championship chances may have just evaporated.

The eventual race winner was a Red Bull employed driver but at sister team Alpha Tauri. The car looked quick at Monza with it consistently in the top 10 and it was Pierre Gasly who got it there in Qualifying. Despite being 10th in Q3, he felt, ‘we have a strong package to have a good race tomorrow’. Even then, surely even he could not have envisaged the race falling to him as it did. Gasly held 10th until lap 19 before the safety car. He was on the wrong side of a safety car in Belgium but with the pit lane temporarily closed, the pack bunching up and then pitting at the first opportunity meant he was 3rd when the race was red-flagged. An excellent launch off the grid meant he passed Stroll before the turn 1 chicane and he inherited the lead for the first time in F1 when Hamilton served his penalty.

Gasly drove fantastically to win his maiden Grand Prix, holding off Sainz to become the first French driver to win a Grand Prix since Olivier Panis in 1996. It was that momentous a result he missed a call from French President Emmanuel Macron but for Alpha Tauri as a team, it was the first win since Sebastian Vettel won at Monza in 2008. Even the press assembled in the paddock applauded. It really was a hugely popular win! Given everything he has been through in the past 18 months; the emotion of struggling at Red Bull, being demoted back to Toro Rosso, losing his close friend Anthoine Hubert, to then bounce back the way he has done is remarkable and a real feel-good story we all needed! David beat Goliath! But, why did he stay sat on the podium for a while, he told Sky Sports Ted Kravitz…

Race winner Pierre Gasly reflecting on the podium. [Image from PlanetF1].

I had so many things in my mind. I know these kind of moments are going so fast. From Brazil last year afterwards I was thinking I wished I had more time on the podium just to enjoy those kind of emotions even more. It was amazing. I just wanted to take the time to figure out what was just happening to me because it was amazing. I had a lot of thoughts crossing my mind and wanted to take my mind to enjoy that.

2020 Italian Grand Prix Race Result

1st Pierre Gasly 1:47.06.056, 2nd Carlos Sainz +0.415, 3rd Lance Stroll +3.358, 4th Lando Norris +6.000, 5th Valtteri Bottas +7.108, 6th Daniel Ricciardo +8.391, 7th Lewis Hamilton +17.285, 8th Esteban Ocon +18.691, 9th Daniil Kvyat +22.208, 10th Sergio Perez +23.224, 11th Nicholas Latifi +32.876, 12th Romain Grosjean +35.164, 13th Kimi Raikkonen +36.312, 14th George Russell +36.592, 15th Alex Albon +37.533, 16th Antonio Giovinazzi +55.199, Max Verstappen DNF, Charles Leclerc DNF, Kevin Magnussen DNF, Sebastian Vettel DNF

Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton 1:22.746

It is not lost on him that this is not expected to be a reality and he wanted to take it all in. That said, his performances have been fantastic in 2020 and the win is just the icing on the cake. He thoroughly deserves it!

Just how could different could it have been as Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly at turn 1. [Sourced from Twitter/F1].

It could have ramifications elsewhere. Red Bull have been adamant Alex Albon is their man for the future after he replaced gasly last year but now the Frenchman is a Grand Prix winner. Red Bull can not look at that and not ask questions. Confidence is a big thing for a driver in F1 and Albon does not seem to have it and is where Gasly was last year as he struggled again. He only just qualified in the top 10 but lost places on the opening lap after banging wheels with Gasly at turn 1. How different things could have been. He received a 5s time penalty for not giving Grosjean enough space into the same turn on lap 2. The damage from the contact compromised him massively, ‘around a second a lap throughout the race’ according to Christian Horner as Albon finished a hugely disappointing 15th.

Daniil Kvyat had a good Italian Grand Prix but was outshone by Gasly and could he be out of F1 for 2021? [Image from Scuderia Alpha Tauri].

Another driver who may feel under threat in the Red Bull family is Gasly’s Alpha Tauri teammate Daniil Kvyat. When it has mattered, his performances have not been at the same level and the Russian missed out on Q3 by a tenth. Qualifying 11th and starting on the Hard tyre, he was coming into contention to be the teams best bet before the Safety Car. Pitting when the pit lane reopened meant he dropped to 13th for the eventual restart from which he climbed to 9th. He believes given the strategy there wasn’t much different he could’ve done and that is probably the right assessment as he finished where you would normally expect to see the car. However, with his teammate winning, finishing 9th is not a good comparison and his seat on the grid for 2021 could be in doubt.

Red Bull have Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda on their books and heavily backed by Honda as they push for a Japanese driver to be on the grid. Tsunoda needs to finish 4th or higher in the F2 standings. He is currently where he needs to be but only 5 points ahead of Christian Lundegaard. There is still some way to go in that Championship and with 10 different race winners this season it is not in the bag but if Tsoundo qualifies for a super licence then Honda will be pushing like mad to get him an F1 chance.

McLaren were fantastic at Monza from the word fo with Team Principal Andreas Seidl ‘leaving Monza with a lot of positives and looking at te second half of the season with confidence’. They had excellent pace in practice with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris going 2nd and 3rd in FP3. They carried that pace forward into Qualifying with McLaren getting their first top-three grid spot at Monza for the first time since 2012 ad eventually finishing the race with both cars in the top four for the first time since 2011. The considerable haul of 30 points meant they scored more points than any other team which could be invaluable in their battle for 3rd in the Constructors. It is a big step on their journey back to the front of the field after their struggles in previous years.

Carlos Sainz really wanted the win but 2nd is thoroughly deserved as he celebrated on the podium. [Image from formula1.com].

Carlos Sainz had been unable to start in Belgium but he made up for it with a fantastic performance in Italy and celebrated on the podium for the first time. The Spaniard put in a fantastic qualifying performance with one of the laps of the weekend to qualify 3rd, an effort that left him ‘shaking’. An excellent start meant he was 2nd going into turn 1 and was running comfortably in 2nd before the safety car came out. Pitting at the first opportunity meant he dropped to 6th when the red flag came out. He rued that flag as he felt he could’ve won and after a good restart, he closed down Gasly giving it everything. Post-race, he said, ‘it’s obviously impossible to be too disappointed with P2 but I wanted that win’. That said, it was an excellent performance and 2nd was the very least he deserved.

Lando Norris rose to 4th in the standings with another strong performance even though he was overshadowed by his teammate. The Brit had been stronger in Friday practice but after making ‘few too many mistakes’ in the tight midfield meant he qualified 6th. Still, that was his 15th successive top 10 start for the youngest driver on the grid and like his teammate, he had a very strong start down to turn 1 and past Bottas for 3rd at the second chicane. He held position until the Safety Car ad question marks were raised over whether he slowed unnecessarily before pitting behind the safety car to make the double-stack work. Dropping to 7th, he recovered after a slightly more cautious restart but was ultimately unable to pass Stroll as he missed out on the podium in 4th.

He was not happy with Stroll getting lucky as the only reason I think I was not on the podium today was because Stroll benefited from a free pitstop which is a bit of a stupid rule because they get it for free, and they don’t deserve it in many ways. I think it should be taken out. I think we had the two examples, we’ve got Gasly who boxed before, and he was ahead with the red flag. And he was there, so that was fair, you can’t do anything about that. But for someone who just hasn’t boxed, they just gained 24 seconds doing nothing. He should still have to pit, it’s his fault they haven’t boxed yet. You can get lucky by doing by what Pierre did, but that’s I think just fair play. But the one of not having to box and getting to use that mandatory pitstop, which they didn’t really do, is a thing which I don’t think is right. His frustration is understandable. McLaren on another day could have been celebrating a double podium.

Lance Stroll was another surprise driver on the podium but he was extremely fortunate. The Canadian had not looked likely to be competing for a podium until the race was red-flagged. He had been out-qualified in his Racing Point by his teammate in 8th but held that position until the Safety car chaos ensured and found himself 2nd when the race was red-flagged. He had not pitted which made it an unusual call from Racing Point which paid off as behind the red flag he could get a free tyre change. With Hamilton penalised, Stroll was best placed to capitalise but a poor restart meant he lost position to Gasly into turn 1 and further ground by locking up into turn 4. The win was there for him but he still managed to secure his 2nd podium in F1 and racing Points first of the season.

Lance Stroll was in prime position for the win at the restart but a poor restart and locking up into turn 4 meant the chance went begging but he still got a podium finish. [Image from formula1.com].

With Stroll, it must be stated that neither team nor driver did anything wrong. They were well entitled within the rules to change tyres at the red flag. Stroll acknowledged his fortune post-race, ‘We got a bit of luck with the timing of the red flag, but that’s part of Formula 1’. It is part of F1, they took a risk and were rewarded for it but at the same time, they had not made a mandatory pit stop and the time hit that comes with it as everyone else did which is what annoyed McLaren in particular. Each driver has to make a pit stop. Perhaps, the teams should not change tyres for restarts but that could cause a backlash from teams falling the wrong side of that idea. I don’t think there is a winning way to resolve that question.

Sergio Perez was ahead of his teammate for much of the weekend but was disapsvantaged by pitting when the pit lane reopened behind the Safety car. [Image from PlanetF1].

It isn’t quite falling into place for Sergio Perez this year. The Mexican was disadvantaged by the Safety Car in Belgium and was disadvantaged again in Italy. He performed excellently in Qualifying putting his Racing Point 4th on the grid, just 0.025s from 3rd. He has never qualified in the top three. However, the race was ‘a disapointing day. Anything that seemed to go wrong seemed to happen to us’. A poor start meant he lost ground to Norris but maintained 4th by passing Bottas. Still, he was ahead of his teammate but the defining moment was pitting behind the safety car when the pit lane opened. After contact with Verstappen, he was 14th when the race restarted. He was able to recover after the restart to finish in the points but he could only 10th. It extends his points-scoring run at Monza to 7 but he deserved more.

2020 Italian Grand Prix Points

Drivers:
Pierre Gasly 25, Carlos Sainz 18, Lance Stroll 15, Lando Norris 12, Valtteri Bottas 10, Daniel Ricciardo 8, Lewis Hamilton 7, Esteban Ocon 4, Daniil Kvyat 2, Sergio Perez 1

Constructors:
McLaren 30, Alpha Tauri 27, Mercedes 17, Racing Point 16, Renault 12

Racing Point are in a position to move on with the question on the legality of their car now a case closed. They had been fined €400,000 and docked 15 points over their brake ducts but it had looked set to go to FIA Court of Appeal. That will not happen now after Racing Point, who felt the penalty too harsh withdrew their intent to appeal as well as Ferrari and Renault who felt it not harsh enough also withdrew. One of those teams, Renault, will be undergoing a rebrand for 2021. It will not be Renault Fernando Alonso will be driving for next year but Alpine F1. It was a move to help expand a brand that has seen success in motorsport in Le Mans in the past. The team will be racing under the red, blue and white tricolour scheme of the French flag.

Daniel Ricciardo split the Mercedes and made an excellent pass on Bottas as he finished 6th. [Image from News.com.au].

Could Renault have got a podium at Monza in 2020? Pre-weekend, if any team were to break the Mercedes; Verstappen podium monopoly, the money would have been on Renault after their strong showing at Spa. Daniel Ricciardo had the pace in practice to suggest he could but after recovering from a fuel pump issue in FP3, he qualified 7th. The honeybadger was confident of having a good race and arguably pulled off the move of the race down the inside of Bottas into Ascari. He more than had the pace and though he struggled to make headway in the DRS train he had the pace to keep Bottas behind. Ricciardo claimed ‘the safety car and red flag did not go our way today’. It was only in the pit stops the Mercedes got past. He was 10th at the restart but drove well to finish 6th as he couldn’t progress.

Esteban Ocon thought Renault missed an opportunity as he finished 8th. [Image from formula1.com].

It sounded like another fairly frustrating Grand Prix for Esteban Ocon. The Frenchman was pondering ‘what could have been’ and complained of ‘totally missing out’ over team radio post-race. His frustration was understandable given he had passed Gasly into turn 1 off the start but on the surface, it was still a solid race drive given everything that happened. He needs to qualify better though and was two tenths adrift of Ricciardo as he failed to get into Q3 in 12th. He had a fantastic opening lap as he rose to 9th but double stacking in the pits behind the safety car meant he was back where he started for the restart; 12th. Running the soft tyre it was a bit of de ja vue as a strong restart saw him climb to 7th before the tyre wear caught up with him ceding 7th to Hamilton in the closing stages.

Monza was an emotional weekend for all involved at Williams as the founder Frank and his daughter and deputy team principal Claire were involved in their final Grand Prix. After 740 races, 7 Drivers Championships and 9 Constructors crowns, they leave behind a phenomenal legacy! It’s not just the success on the track, but for pushing diversity in the sport (Susie Wolff became the first female driver in 22 years taking part in an F1 weekend by driving a Williams, they also have inaugural W Series winner Jamie Chadwick on their books) and a tradition for giving people a chance. George Russell and Nicholas Latifi are the latest examples but they gave chances to Bottas and Stroll on the current grid but also giving world champions such as Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve and Nico Rosberg chances.

It was an emotional farewell weekend for Claire Williams on the pit wall. [Image from formula.1com].

Now owned by Dorilton Capital, they were always going to want their own people in but given they have only installed an ‘acting team principal’ in Simon Roberts, could they have held off until the end of the season? Maybe, but regardless, the Williams family leave the sport with their head held high despite their struggles of recent years. They will be sorely missed

On track, Latifi just missed out on points as he matched his best finish of the season; 11th. That was a big shame as the driver said, ‘I am happy wth the overall result, but it would have been nice to reward Claire and the team with some points’. It hadn’t been the best of weekends for the Canadian as he was out-qualified by Russell despite being in the car all weekend and being outpaced by reserve driver Roy Nissany in FP1. He would likely have finished behind Russell if not for pitting before the Safety Car which propelled him to 9th at the restart. It would have been nice to see him hold on to points but it was always going to be difficult to keep quicker cars behind him though he did pass Raikkonen on the final lap.

It was a slightly more frustrating weekend for George Russell than he is used to. The Brit missed out on FP1 for Nissany and despite the lack of track time, he was still able to maintain his record of never being beaten by his teammate in Qualifying. Russell has reached Q2 five times this season so perhaps he missed out with the qualifying mode ban but he also wasn’t happy being stuck in traffic as teams battled it out to get a tow. He was ahead of Latifi after a decent opening lap and was unfortunate to lose out by pitting behind the safety car but he was able to keep Albon behind as he came home 14th. It was disappointing for Russell as he thought ‘we could have scored points today’ but it just was not to be.

Sebastian vettel’s abysmal Italian Grand prix weekend ended in brake failure. [Image from PlanetF1].

If it was tearful for Williams, jubilation for Italian team Alpha Tauri, it was excruciatingly painful for Ferrari. After Spa, coming to a circuit where straight-line speed is critical, we all knew it was going to be difficult for the Scuderia. They endured their worst qualifying at Monza since 1984 with Charles Leclerc qualifying 13th and Sebastian Vettel not even getting out of Q1. It only got worse in the race with neither car finishing. Vettel drove through the polystyrene bollards as he was forced to retire after 6 laps with brake failure.

Charles Leclerc’s race ending crash. [Sourced via Twitter/F1].

Leclerc meanwhile, held 13th from the start until pitting for Hard tyres on lap 17 which propelled him to 6th but when trying ‘to push but then I makde a mistake, lost the rear and crased in parabolica’. It was a heavy impact but thankfully he came away from it but the tyre wall needed repairing prompting the red flag. Mugello next wee is Ferrari’s 1,000th Grand Prix, surely it cannot be as bad? With the team while backing Mattia Binotto effectively writing off winning a race until 2022, who knows.

Opting to take the restart on Soft tyres cost Kii Raikkonen in the end as he dropped from 2nd to out of the points. [Image from FormulaSpy}.

It was a story of what could have been for Kimi Raikkonen in the Alfa Romeo. The 2007 Champion was the last driver to win for a none big-three team (Lotus in 2013) and at the race restart, he was well in contention. The Iceman had done well getting into Q2 qualifying 14th and in the race, had a good start running 12th before pitting on lap 17. That was before the safety car and propelled him to 4th at the restart. With Stroll running wide and Hamilton serving a penalty, he ran 2nd. Unfortunately, it was not to be. The wear on the Soft tyres did not help him as he fell out of the points in the space of 13 laps but Raikkonen admitted ‘we only had soft tyres left at the red flag’. They did not hold well and unfortunately finished 13th.

After a ‘fun battle’ with George Russell, Romain Grosjean (no. 8 on the inside) finished the best of the Ferrari powered cars in 12th. [Image from formula1.com].

The highest-powered Ferrari finisher was Romain Grosjean in the Haas in 12th. The Frenchman was more than elated with his compatriots win but for himself, it was a slightly more difficult weekend which rewarded him with his best finish of the season. He was beaten in Qualifying by his teammate after ‘a change on the rear ride height’ backfired but recovered with a decent race drive for his best race finish of the season. He maintained position n the opening half of the race despite a close shave with Albon but pitting behind the safety car did not benefit him as he was 17th and last at the restart. Still, he recovered well after a ‘fun battle’ with Russell and passed Raikkonen on the final lap. He beat his nearest rivals but failed to score points as Grosjean reflected, ‘sadly that’s our pace’.

While his teammate out-qualified him, the biggest impact he made on the race was his retirement triggering the race changing Safety Car. The Danish driver excelled in Qualifying going three-tenths quicker than Grosjean but the race went from bad to worse for him. After losing a bit of his front wing on the opening lap, pitting for a replacement meant he was running along with pace mysteriously ‘matching the McLarens’ at the back of the field before a power unit issue forced him to pull up just by the pit lane entry.

Kevin Magnussen pulling up where he did turned the race on its head. [Image from formula1.com].

For the other Alfa Romeo driver, it ruined his race! Like Hamilton, Antonio Giovinazzi pitted while the pit lane was closed and consequently given a 10 second stop and go penalty. Up to that point, it had not been a great weekend for the Italian at his home race as he qualified down in 18th after getting stuck in traffic. Giovinazzi’s start was excellent though as he rose from 18th to 14th and was battling with Albon before the Safety Car. Pitting when he did benefited him greatly as he was 5th for the race restart. Like Hamilton, it was a slam dunk and was also a collective team and driver error but it ruined his race more so. Unlike the Mercedes, Giovnazzi did not have the pace to recover and finished 18s adrift of the heavily compromised Albon.

2020 Italian Grand Prix Ratings

Drivers:
Pierre Gasly 10, Carlos Sainz 10, Lance Stroll 8, Lando Norris 9, Valtteri Bottas 6, Daniel Ricciardo 8, Lewis Hamilton 8, Esteban Ocon 7, Daniil Kvyat 8, Sergio Perez 7.5, Nicholas Latifi 7.5, Romain Grosjean 7, Kimi Raikkonen 7.5, George Russell 6.5, Alex Albon 5, Antonio Giovinazzi 5, Max Verstappen 7, Charles Leclerc 6, Kevin Magnussen 6, Sebastian Vettel 5.5.

Constructors:
McLaren 9.5, Alpha Tauri 9, Mercedes 7, Racing Point 7.5, Renault 7.5, Williams 6.5, Haas 6.5, Alfa Romeo 6, Red Bull 5.5, Ferrari 5.

In terms of the Drivers Championship, despite not having a good race day Hamilton still retains a 50 point lead in the standings due to Bottas only gaining three points on him and Verstappen failing to score points at all. Having failed to score points, Alex Albon drops to 5th in the standings behind Lance Stroll and Lando Norris (57 pts each). Behind Albon, the rest of the top 10 in the standings is close. Race winner Pierre gasly climbs into the top 10 from 12th on 43 points and Carlos Sainz is 9th on 41 equal to Ricciardo in 10th. Esteban Ocon drops to 12t (30pts) Sebastian Vettel remains 13th (16pts). Daniil Kvyat doubled his points tally but remains 15th (2pts) and the bottom six of the standings remains unchanged.

The Constructors Championship really is now a question over the midfield battle. Mercedes ad Red Bull remain comfortably 1st (281pts) and 2nd (158pts) respectively. Monza has stretched out the midfield with McLaren’s 30 point haul lifting them to 3rd on 98pts ahead of Racing Point 82pts. Having given up their appeal, they could have been only two adrift. It’s another 11 points further back to Renault (71pts), a further 10 to Ferrari (61pts) while the win for Alpha Tauri means they are not too far behind Ferrari on 48 pts. They have opened up a big margin to the bottom three who are unchanged: Haas (2pts), Alfa Romeo (1pt) and Willaims (0pts).

Could the next race be as unpredictable? Who knows? F1 is certainly entering unknown territory as they remain in Northern Italy. Unlike other countries to host multiple races this year, it is not being held at the same circuit. Instead, the Mugello circuit, owned by Ferrari, will host its first-ever F1 Grand Prix under the guise of the Tuscany region as Ferrari mark their 1,000th Grand Prix entered as a team. It will be a weekend celebrating Ferrari as the only team to compete in it every year but could they even get a surprise result? It will be Ferrari crazy weekend at Mugello for the first-ever Tuscany Grand Prix!

The Ferrari owned Mugello circuit is next; The Tuscany Grand Prix. [Image from formula1.com].

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