Mugello makes a chaotic F1 debut but it’s a familiar winner: 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Review

Situated in the Tuscan hills of northern Italy, the Mugello Circuit for the first time hosted an F1 Grand Prix. It last hosted F1 cars for a test session 2012 but never a Grand Prix. With its narrow layout overtaking was expected to be difficult but with its sweeping high-speed corners, it was a quick circuit which delivered an almighty chaotic and entertaining race. The only question left us; can F1 go to Mugello more often?

We would not have had a race at Mugello without the pandemic but it was nicely planned to mark Ferrari’s 1,000th Grand Prix as a team. Everything was a celebration of Ferrari. They emblazoned their cars with a burgundy special edition livery to match their initial colours from the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix, Mick Schumacher got to take his fathers 2004 Ferrari for a spin and even the Mercedes Safety Car was painted red as a tribute, It’s just as well, it was the only red car to lead a lap. We saw it come out three times and after waiting three years for one, two red flags come at once after Monza the weekend before. Seven cars did not get past the opening 10 laps but we did see some racing eventually with F1 having 213th different driver on the podium but it was an all too familiar race winner [Pictured above; Image from]…

It will be these crazy opening laps I start my post and that means the first lap carnage at turn 3 which brought out the first Safety Car as two cars ended up in the gravel trap. The gravel traps brought mixed reactions from the drivers but they bring more of a challenge in the same way walls do on street circuits. The margins for error are slimmer and the costs of getting it wrong greater.

This is where Max Verstappen’s race ended on the opening lap. As has often been the case in 2020, the Dutchman was the main challenger to Mercedes in the timesheets and qualified 3rd again and within four-tenths. However, on his way to the grid, an issue was detected. That did not prevent him from having a great initial launch challenging Hamilton off the line but from there, ‘the car just didn’t accelerate so I lost a lot of speed and had no power. I then dropped back into the midfield and got hit from behind’. The loss of power meant he went from 3rd and battling Hamilton for 2nd to being swallowed by the midfield in a matter of meters but there was nothing he could do as he was tapped from behind. None of that situation is Verstappen’s fault but his 2020 challenge is surely over now after three DNFs.

Pierre Gasly also saw his race end there as he witnessed a brutal fall back down to earth at Mugello. The Monza race winner had shown excellent pace on practice, going 5th in FP1 and FP3. It was, therefore, a shock to see him bow out of Qualifying in Q1 by 0.053s which he described as running out of energy in the car. From 16th, his race was extremely brief as seeing space between Raikkonen and Grosjean he saw an opportunity, went for it and found himself in the middle with ‘nowhere to go’. He was sent slightly into the air and powerless to avoid collecting Verstappen as they both went into the gravel. He suffered the same fate as the previous French race winner, Olivier Panis who also failed to finish his next race after winning his only race in 1996.

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Qualifying 

Q1: 1st Valtteri Bottas 1:15.749……………15th Sebastian Vettel1:17.072; 16th Pierre Gasly +0.053, 17th Antonio Giovinazzi +0.148, 18th George Russell +0.160, 19th Nicholas Latifi +0.248, 20th Kevin Magnussen +0.276

Q2: 1st Lewis Hamilton 1:15.309………10th Carlos Sainz 1:16.522; 11th Lando Norris +0.118, 12th Daniil Kvyat +0.332, 13th Kimi Raikkonen +0.332, 14th Sebastian Vettel +0.336, 15th Romain Grosjean +0.732

Q3: 1st Lewis Hamilton 1:15.144, 2nd Valtteri Bottas +0059, 3rd Max Verstappen +0.365, 4th Alex Albon +0.810, 5th Charles Leclerc +1.126, 6th Sergio Perez +1.167, 7th Lance Stroll +1.212, 8th Daniel Ricciardo +1.399, 9th Carlos Sainz +2.726, 10th Esteban Ocon (no time set)

Carlos Sainz was sent into a spin at this turn as well by Lace Stroll while Sebastian Vettel, unable to avoid the McLaren sustained some front wing damage requiring a pit-stop. Romain Grosjean escaped the gravel but it was all enough for the Safety car to be released. However, it was the end of the safety car period that prompted the red flag as several cars came together in the midfield with the race ending for four drivers on the start/finish straight. The big post-mortem question is who was at fault?

Valtteri Bottas was leading at the time and questions have been asked about his conduct. With the power of the slipstream powerful down the start/finish straight, Bottas approached it slowly in order to defend his position as you would expect but it was behind him that the chaos unfolded. As Martin Brundle said in commentary, ‘There were effectively two starts going on there and the second start met up with the first one before they accelerated’. Bottas defended his actions as such, ‘Of course when you’re in the lead, you try to maximise your chances and I’m not at all to blame for that.’ As the lead car, he is within his rights to dictate the pace and that is reflected in the stewards ruling.

Looking at the drivers who retired from the race here, it was an end to a difficult Grand Prix weekend in general. In the Haas, Kevin Magnussen seemed to struggle for lap time compared to his teammate at Mugello and qualified 20th for the second time in three races. That said, he kept it clean on the opening lap and rose to 12th when the Safety Car came out so a positive result was possible. As he described what happened, ‘the leader was going slow all the way to the line, which he’s entitled to do, but then somewhere in the middle – between me and the front, somebody decided to go. I guess somebody maybe tried to open a gap to get some momentum, but they went too early and tried to stop again. The guy in front of me started to go, we were flat out for a few seconds, then suddenly they all braked. I braked, I saw people coming past, then I was hit by Giovinazzi – who had nowhere to go’.

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 Magnussen almost stopped in the middle of the track. Latifi avoided him but I just didn’t have the time – I tried to, but clipped his rear left. Thankfully, nobody got injured’. That was Antonio Giovinazzi’s view but even before then, he had another disappointing weekend in Italy. The Italian struggled for pace against his teammate Raikkonen in Friday practice and while he appeared to find some pace in FP3, he failed to get out of Q1. After qualifying 17th, he did well to climb to 14th. Unfortunately, that meant he was in the right spot to take the lion share of the contact as he could not avoid Magnussen, caught Latifi and then had Sainz come into him from behind.

Nicholas Latifi at least got past the start/finish line but his race was over. Like Magnussen and Giovinazzi, he had struggled for pace against his teammate and was out-qualified by him despite having a clean FP3. Less than a tenth separated him from Russell in Q1 but he also had a clean opening lap as he rose to 13th. Unfortunately, like Magnussen and Giovinazzi, his work was undone at the restart. He went to the left of Magnussen but was caught from behind by Giovinazzi. Describing it, Latifi claimed he had already ‘almost hit Kevin (Magnussen) in the apex of the last corner when everyone braked again, and then again it seemed that everyone went, and you are just reacting to the cars around you. The cars ahead then braked once more and there was nothing that I could do to avoid it.

Carlos Sainz was the final casualty but he didn’t say much post-race other than ‘Well, first of all I’m glad everyone is okay after such a dangerous accident. That’s the main thing. We really need to look into what happened and figure out what triggered the whole situation to make sure it never happens again.’ After his impressively consistent performance at Monza to finish 2nd, the Spaniard like Gasly seemingly came crashing back down to earth. McLaren seemed to lack pace in practice so did really well to get the car into Q3. After a decent launch off the line, he saw an opportunity on the Racing Point of Stroll for 5th but was spun in a racing incident. That dropped him down to 15th and even then he thought points were possible but couldn’t slow down to add to the scary incident with Giovinazzi and Magnussen.

Judging by their comments, they felt someone further ahead was at fault for instigating it but everyone is in agreement it is not Bottas. The stewards have access to all of the onboard footage and car telemetry which the viewers don’t always see so their judgement in defending Bottas should be accepted. Their ruling is also particularly catching as they reprimanded no fewer than 12 drivers for ‘inconsistent application of throttle and brake’: Carlos Sainz, Antonio Giovinazzi, Kevin Magnussen, Nicholas Latifi, George Russell, Esteban Ocon, Daniil Kvyat, Lando Norris, Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon. Russell, in particular, was picked out for blame by F1TV journalist Sam Collins. He was the driver ahead of Magnussen and he went to the right of the car in front to avoid contact but had accelerated to keep distance to the car ahead.

I believe the steward’s judgement to be fair in attributing blame to several drivers. Remember they have seen the telemetry as well as the onboards. Bottas did nothing wrong, he was within his rights to control the pace as he did but perhaps the issue is where the control line was as Magnussen suggested. However, could it be repeated? Hopefully not! However, with F1 using the oval circuit for the second race in Bahrain, then the slow approach to the control line could be repeated like what you normally see in Indycar if there was to be a safety car. The lead driver just would not want to bolt it so something does need changing. So I will echo comments from Sainz and Magnussen that it should not be repeated.

Esteban Ocon was unable to take the first restart due to overhearing issues. [Image from].

Anyway, the race was red-flagged with barely a full lap of racing but for completely unrelated reasons Esteban Ocon did not take the standing restart. This was due to overheating issues and George Russell who had followed him behind the safety car was on team radio smelling burning. His brakes were indeed ‘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’. Up to that point, Ocon had shown decent pace and got the car into Q3 but was outshone by his teammate, Ricciardo. Qualifying 10th, he had to avoid Sainz but despite losing a couple positions there maintained 10th and it is a shame for the Frenchman as it is likely he would have scored points.

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Race Result

1st Lewis Hamilton 2:19:35.060, 2nd Valtteri Bottas +4.880, 3rd Alex Albon +8.064, 4th Daniel Ricciardo +10.417, 5th Sergio Perez +15.650, 6th Lando Norris +18.883, 7th Daniil Kvyat +21.756, 8th Charles Leclerc +28.345, 9th Kimi Raikkonen +29.770, 10th Sebastian Vettel +29.983, 11th George Russell +32.404, 12th Romain Grosjean +42.036, Lance Stroll DNF, Esteban Ocon DNF, Nicholas Latifi DNF, Carlos Sainz DNF, Antonio Giovinazzi DNF, Kevin Magnussen DNF, Max Verstappen DNF, Pierre Gasly DNF.

Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton 

Despite all the drama, chaos disruptions and issues with those pesky kerbs, it was a perfect result for Mercedes. The Brackley based team secured their 7th consecutive front-row lock-out of the season and followed that up with a commanding win. They took the record for leading the most consecutive races outright (32) and collected the maximum amount of points (1st, 2nd and fastest lap) for the first time this season. Perhaps fittingly, it was also Mercedes’ 100th win since they returned as a Constructor in 2010, a result race engineer Andrew Shovlin described as ‘a really proud milestone for everyone in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart.

Lewis Hamilton had to work hard for his 90th Grand Prix. [Image from].

Race winner Lewis Hamilton was not as flawless as some of his other recent races but it was still a dominant display when racing eventually got going. The World Champion had experienced a difficult start tot eh weekend, he wasn’t as hooked up as Bottas but made an excellent recovery to turn the tables and beat his teammate to pole despite needing some fortune as he did not improve on his final Q3 effort. That was his 95th pole position and 68th for Mercedes. He now has more pole positions for Mercedes than Michael Schumacher managed in his entire career.

He didn’t get the best of the race starts and momentarily had to hold off Verstappen for 2nd but the Safety Car and subsequent red flag allowed him to reset and go again. From the first standing restart, he started much better and got in his teammate’s slipstream to be able to sweep around the outside of him to retake the lead and from there he built up a comfortable lead. The second red flag though meant that advantage was neutralised. From the second standing restart he, fortunately, ‘got my best start of the day and was able to maintain my position’ and the leader was able to maintain position for the first time. Hamilton did well to keep his composure under pressure from behind keeping him earnest to take the chequered flag. It was win number 90 and Michael Schumacher’s once thought untouchable 91 is within reach.

It was another frustrating weekend for Valtteri Bottas as he just could not get the better of Hamilton when it mattered. [Image from Planet F1].

Frustrating must be the word for Valtteri Bottas. The Finn topped all three practice sessions for the first time in his career but as has been the case so often in 2020, when it mattered most he could not find enough as just 0.059s and a late yellow flag denied him pole position. Bottas made up for it at the start with ‘a dream start’ to beat Hamilton into turn 1but when it came to the two standing restarts he was found wanting. He couldn’t prevent his teammate from slipstreaming him and wanting to go different to on tyre strategy is always going to be difficult when he pitted first. On the second restart, he was caught by Ricciardo into the same turn and while he came back at the Renault, the lost time meant it was always going to be a tall order for him to beat Hamilton.

Perhaps the happiest driver on the podium was Alex Albon. ‘I’m really happy and it took a while to get here’ he said post-race and he isn’t wrong there. This has been a difficult year for the Red Bull man after failing to get on the podium in Brazil last year and in the season opener in Austria, he could have been forgiven for having ‘flashbacks of Hamilton’ but he got there at the third time of asking and could not have come at a better time than just after the man he replaced at Red Bull won at Monza.

He eventually got there and you could see just what it meant for Alex Albon. [Image from].

The London born Thai driver slowly came into the Grand Prix weekend and eventually qualified 4th, equalling a career-best. He held that position on the opening lap but on the restart lost a few positions as he dropped to 7th. From there, it was a good recovery from Albon whose confidence must have taken a hit at that moment but he clawed it back. He was fighting Stroll for 5th when he went off on lap 42. Albon improved his start for the second standing restart and was able to come back at Ricciardo and passed him with a mightly slipstream around turn 1 eight laps from home. On a day of carnage, it was another feel-good story! Personally, I felt it was a matter of time and Albon thanked the team for sticking with him on team radio just shows exactly how much it meant.

After a fantastic second restart, Daniel Ricciardo was briefly battling the Mercedes pair but just missed out on the podium. [Image from EssentuallySports].

That said, it was a shame not to see Daniel Ricciardo up there. Team boss Cyril Abiteboul agreed to get a tattoo if the Australian scores a podium this season and for 17 laps, it looked like he would booking himself in. Unfortunately for the Australian, he couldn’t ‘finish what we started’. He did magnificently well to pass Bottas on the second restart for 2nd but didn’t have the pace to keep the Mercedes or the red Bull of Albon behind. It was an impressive race drive after qualifying 8th. Ricciardo had gained a couple positions on the opening lap and when we saw some proper racing he had strong race pace as he made his way past Perez and Leclerc before undercutting Stroll for 3rd. ‘We can’t get any closer than that and we’ll keep pushing’ and hopefully it will fall into place before he leaves for McLaren.

Lando Norris had a difficult weekend at Mugello but recovered from a disapointing qualifying to finish an impressive 6th. [Image from Formula Spy].

His teammate for next year, Lando Norris finished an impressive 6th after a much cleaner race than Sainz in the sister McLaren. The Brit struggled for pace particularly in FP3 but recovering from a difficult weekend he only just missed out on Q3 for the first time in 2020 by just 0.118s. That didn’t deter him in the race as keeping his nose clean on the opening lap gained him three places. After passing Leclerc for 7th on lap 33, he was able to maintain position but not attack those in front despite threatening an undercut. He eventually finished 6th as ‘Everyone that finished ahead qualified ahead and was much quicker, so I’m happy with how we performed’. 6th is a solid result given his struggles and the maximum he could achieve at Mugello.

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Points

Lewis Hamilton 26, Valtteri Bottas 18, Alex Albon 15, Daniel Ricciardo 12, Sergio Perez 10, Lando Norris 8, Daniil Kvyat 6, Charles Leclerc 4, Kimi Raikkonen 2, Sebastian Vettel 1

Mercedes 44, Red Bull 15, Renault 12, Racing Point 10, McLaren 8, Alpha Tauri 6, Ferrari 5, Alfa Romeo 2

After a disappointing Grand Prix at Spa and Monza, Ferrari’s 1,000th Grand Prix was expected to be slightly better for them. In a way, it was but finishing behind an Alfa Romeo on track would not have been expected due to high tyre degradation but mirrors what happened in their debut Grand Prix back in 1950. Mattia Binotto stressed both drivers ‘did the best they could, given the performance level of the car’. Ferrari scored 5 points at Mugello, a paltry sum for a race at their circuit but it is the first time in five races both cars finished in the top 10. This is just where Ferrari are right now and probably will be until 2022.

In his special liveried Ferrari, Charles Leclerc got the most out of it but could only finish 8th. [Image from Ferrari].

Charles Leclerc as has often been the case this season looked the more capable driver to extract everything from that underperforming Ferrari. The Monegasque raised eyebrows finishing FP1 3rd quickest and followed it up with an impressive 5th in Qualifying. A really strong launch off the grid saw him 3rd but after the first standing restart and racing resumed it was always going to be a struggle to remain there as ‘Unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace we needed to keep this position.’ They tried something different going to the Hard tyre but he could alarmingly only manage 17 laps on them so he was probably a little bit thankful for the second red flag as from the second standing restart he was able to get ahead of his teammate and battle Raikkonen. He couldn’t beat the Alfa Romeo but finished within 5s to benefit from his time penalty.

Sebastian Vettel struggled at Mugello but will be racing an Aston martin in 2021. [Image from].

Sebastian Vettel had another difficult weekend at Ferrari and started it almost a full second adrift of Leclerc. He halved the deficit in Qualifying but still exited in Q2 as he failed to reach Q3 for the fifth successive race; not what you would expect for a four-time world champion. The German was unfortunate on the opening lap as he could not avoid Sainz and sustained front wing damage but the Safety Car meant he did not lose much time. At that point, he would probably have taken a point as he reflected,’The positive thing is that we were able to finish in the points, but of course, we can’t be happy with our position’. After that, he was fortunate to stay out of trouble but unlike his teammate, he could not get close enough Raikkonen to benefit from his penalty finishing 10th for the final point on offer.

The disappointing performance followed on from the driver market developments coming into Mugello. Sergio Perez announced he would leaving Racing Point at the end of the season on the Wednesday evening before Mugello, something he had been informed of only hours before. That will have come as a blow for Perez as he was adamant he had a contract. Unfortunately, contracts are just paper in F1 and Sebastian Vettel was then announced as his 2021 replacement the following day. It shouldn’t have been a surprise as it has been speculated of for a while now but it had gone quiet lately but it was confirmed.

In his current form, you would not have taken Vettel. However, Racing Point will be Aston Martin next year. They are a big brand and as such, they would likely have wanted a marquee signing as a signal of their intent and Vettel fits that bill. Looking at the statement from Otmar Szafenaur it seems like this could be what Vettel needs. Szafenaur said, ‘I don’t think he’s forgotten how to drive. We all need a little bit of love sometimes…It will be our job to put our arms around him and show him what this team is about and I think he will flourish with us.‘ Vettel is after a competitive car and an environment he can be loved in so it makes sense on both parties.

There is no love lost in sport though and it is harsh on Perez as he helped save that team two years ago and now he has been told he is no longer required. Could he be out of the sport in a few months? Hopefully not. His realistic options are now Alfa Romeo and Haas but it may be too early to say on that especially as Gunther Steiner says Haas have a shortlist of 10 potential drivers.

Sergio Perez despite not having the racing Point upgrade, finished the race and scored the points holding Norris behind as he finished a strong 5th. [Image from].

Mugello was perhaps a timely reminder of his abilities. It was a difficult weekend for Perez. He’d lost his drive on Wednesday, replaced on Thursday, handed a one place gird penalty for spinning Raikkonen on Friday but then out-qualified his teammate on Saturday and scored points on Sunday. All that, while being on the back foot all Grand Prix weekend by not getting the same aero upgrade that his teammate did. That contributed to Perez being slower in the timesheets often and for a large part of the race despite his excellent Qualifying effort. That said he made the best of a bad situation and while he couldn’t keep Ricciardo or Albon behind at the first standing restart, he ‘did really well to maximise the situation to get to P5’ after the second restart to keep Norris behind.

At least he finished. The same cannot be said for Lance Stroll who did get the upgrade package to his racing Point. With the update, you’d have expected him to be quicker than Perez but perhaps due to the late yellow flag, only the Mexican’s grid penalty meant he started ahead suggesting it may only work best in race trim. Still, the Canadian kept it clean on the opening lap and was running in 3rd when he passed Leclerc. He was undercut in the pit stop phases by Ricciardo and was chasing him for hopefully his second successive podium when he crashed out of the race on lap 42. The crash did not appear to be his fault, instead ‘it felt like a puncture’. It was a shame for him to crash out like that but thankfully he got out in one piece.

Daniil Kvyat quietly had a strong weekend at Mugello finishing 7th. [Image from Pitpass].

Elsewhere in the points was Daniil Kvyat who had a quietly strong Grand Prix weekend. ‘It was important for us to get some good points, so I’m happy with the result’. Wouldn’t you be saying that after your teammate won the previous weekend? The Russian didn’t quite have the same pace as Gasly in practice but was more comfortable in the car for Qualifying as he beat the Frenchman for the second time in three races. He knew he could compete from 12th and despite the torpedo nickname, kept out of trouble on the opening lap and ahead of the safety car carnage. From there, once he got ahead of Leclerc, he had enough speed to remain ahead of the Ferrari powered battle with Williams behind but not enough to challenge Norris ahead as he finished 7th for only his fourth top 8 finish for the team in three stints.

Twenty years after his first F1 test (conveniently at Mugello), Kimi Raikkonen put in a very strong performance as he scored his first points of 2020. The 2007 World Champion had good pace through most of the weekend and qualified 13th for Alfa Romeos best qualifying of the season. Reflecting on his race, he thought ‘It was far from the perfect execution of a race but, despite all the issues, we still brought home two important points.’ The Iceman survived a scare being involved in the opening lap drama and a slow pit stop. He was fortunate for the second red flag as having been lapped at that point, finishing in the pints would not have been possible. His Alfa had sustained some damage so his pace after his strong second restart was impressive to finish ahead of the Ferrari’s and score points despite his 5s time penalty.

Raikkonen is due to equal the record for most F1 Grand Prix starts next time out; 322. Surely someone, as experienced as him, would know he cannot enter the pit lane as he did when he made the rushed decision to pit before the second red flag which earned him the penalty.

George Russell came so close to his first F1 point but could not get close enough to Vettel to claim it. [Image from].

You have to feel for George Russell. He was so close but yet so far from his first points finish in F1. Despite a difficult weekend, the Brit somehow bounced back from an issue in FP3 and managed to maintain his 100% qualifying record against his teammate despite running over the gravel on his final effort. A clean race start meant he gained 7 places on the opening lap and was 11th on the opening lap and was running in the points for much of the race. He was 9th at the final standing restart but that is where it slipped away from him as he fell back to 12th. He regained a position on Gorsoejan but could not stick with Vettel close enough to pass and finished in 11th.

He was left to rue that restart as he said post-race, ‘It’s such a shame as the race was under control, and I was in P9 before the last red flag. I was driving like hell, everything was stable, the tyres were good, and I was ready to bring the car home. With the last restart, we had some wheel spin and this made the final stint very diffciult’. Even Vettel felt sorry for him but this was the sort of race that Williams needed to capitalise on if they are to score points in 2020. There could be another one and I remain hopeful he will score points this year.

Romain Grosjean, just how did he manage to finish? [Image from].

Finishing 12th and last of the finishers was Romain Grosjean and despite that disappointment, he deserves a lot of credit for actually finishing which a driver of his reputation for misfortune doesn’t normally get. The Frenchman had done well to out-qualify his teammate getting into Q2 but his race was extremely chaotic. He was on the outside of Gasly and survived being shunted into the gravel trap. He then survived the chaotic Safety Car restart and driving through the carnage as he was the driver immediately behind Sainz. All of that meant ‘half of the left-hand side was missing’ from his car. It was perhaps no surprise he finished last but he had given himself a small chance of points after a strong launch from the final restart but it wasn’t to be. He did really well just finishing.

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ratings

Lewis Hamilton 9, Valtteri Bottas 7.5, Alex Albon 8.5, Daniel Ricciardo 9, Sergio Perez 7.5, Lando Norris 7, Daniil Kvyat 8, Charles Leclerc 8, Kimi Raikkonen 8.5, Sebastian Vettel 6, George Russell 7.5, Romain Grosjean 7, Lance Stroll 6.5, Esteban Ocon 6, Nicholas Latifi 6, Carlos Sainz 6.5, Antonio Giovinazzi 5, Kevin Magnussen 4.5, Max Verstappen 8, Pierre Gasly 4.5

Mercedes 9, Red Bull 8, Renault 7.5, Racing Point 7, McLaren 7, Alpha Tauri 7, Ferrari 7, Alfa Romeo 7, Williams 6.5, Haas 6

In the standings, it gets better for Lewis Hamilton (190pts) who now has a 55 point lead over his teammate Bottas (135pts) while it is an 80 lead for the championship leader of Max Verstappen in 3rd (110pts). Despite Albons podium, Lando Norris retains 4th in the standings but the red Bull man is only two points behind in 5th. Carlos Sainz dropped out of the top 10 in the standings after Sergio Perez’s 5th place finish while at the bottom of the standings after his best finish of the season means George Russell demotes Romain Grosjean to the bottom despite neither driver having scored points. Kimi Raikkonen leaps up to 16th and level with his teammate on 2 points after finishing 9th.

In the Constructors, it is even less of a contest for the crown as Mercedes (325pts) have a whopping 152 point lead over Red Bull (173pts). McLaren became the third team to surpass the 100 point mark in 3rd but the order generally remains the same as racing Point sit 4th (92pts), Renault 5th (83pts), Ferrari 6th (66pts), Alpha Tauri 7th (53pts). Alfa Romeo doubled their points in 8th (4pts) thanks to Raikkonen’s 9th pace finish with Haas (1pt) and Williams (0pts) remain the bottom two.

After a hectic and gruelling schedule of 9 races in 11 weekends, F1 returns to a more normal rhythm of fortnightly races until the final three races of 2020. Socially distancing fans were permitted at Mugello and they will be in Sochi as F1 race near the Black Sea. It’s Sochi, so that means it’s the Russian Grand Prix next.

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