The chaos that unfolded in the serenity of Tuscany
The 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix held at the Mugello racetrack was a thriller and a race filled with chaos, where some were treated with devastating crashes while others drove a stellar race. It also marked the 1000th race for Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team which was celebrated with the team running a special livery on the occasion.
The race start was critical at Mugello as the run into turn 1 is long and any mistakes at the start could make or break the race. Bottas had a flyer of a start and got past Hamilton. Max had a great start too, however, his engine gave in 200 meters into the race pushing him to the back of the field where a racing incident involving Gasly, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Sainz, and Max resulted in Gasly and Max crash out of the race with several drivers picking up extensive damage on their cars.
The incident brought out the safety car, in order for the track to be cleared for racing. Once, the safety car had come in Bottas re-started the race at the latest possible moment which resulted in several drivers at the back having a catastrophic crash which involved Magnussen, Giovinazzi, Sainz, and Latifi who all retired from the race due to terminal damage.
This resulted in a red flag as the start/finish straight was covered in debris and retired cars which had to be cleared. This meant the remaining cars had to return to the pits and wait for a standing restart. This had resulted in a huge reshuffling of the pack, Russell in the Williams was running in a points-scoring position and LeClerc had moved into P3 just before the red flag. Once, the race had restarted Hamilton stormed into the lead and LeClerc dropped to 8th after being past car after car over the next few laps. Pitstops followed after 13-15 laps and sparked some interesting words over the team radio by Bottas requesting an opposite strategy, which was declined leaving the Finn in a frustrating mood. On lap 45, Lance Stroll running in P4 suffered a puncture which lead to the Canadian having a massive impact with the barriers which brought out the red flag for a second time.
The race was going to have another standing restart. At the restart, Bottas had a horrendous start which lead to Daniel Ricciardo moving up into second place briefly to be passed by the Finn a few laps later. Alex Albon got past him as well and moved his Red bull into the final podium position. Kimi Raikkonen also had a spectacular restart and drove an intrepid race by gaining four positions and was running ahead of both Ferrari's and was once again the lead Ferrari powered car. Despite having a 5-second time penalty for crossing the pit entry he was lapping 1-second faster than Vettel and secured 9th place by the end. Hamilton won the race and George Russell missed out on the points despite lapping at a similar pace to Vettel. This summed up a crazy and chaotic race and also reflected on how poorly Ferrari were performing, and how dominant Hamilton and Mercedes continue to be.