Photo via Miguel Medina/Reuters
After 14 years, Formula 1 returned to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. As they ran the third race in Italy this season,
On the first lap, Max Verstappen passed Lewis Hamilton for second place after a strong start. Daniel Ricciardo moved ahead of Pierre Gasly for fifth place. Kevin Magnussen spun out of the track on the restart and Lance Stroll suffered damage after he collided with Esteban Ocon.
Eight laps into this race, Gasly was running in fifth place when his engine suffered a terminal issue, forcing him to retire from the race early after a strong performance in qualifying and the opening laps.
Many drivers started pitting on lap 13. Charles Leclerc, who took over fifth place after Gasly retired, pitted one lap before Alexander Albon and Daniil Kvyat but still had the advantage over them after their stops.
Bottas pitted on lap 19 but Hamilton decided to stay out as he wanted to “pick up the pace,” to gain seconds on Verstappen and Bottas.
As Hamilton was rapidly gaining time on Bottas and Verstappen, Ocon had to retire from the race with an engine problem, a possible gearbox issue. As he slid off the track, the safety car was deployed just as Hamilton pitted, allowing him to have less delay on his pit stop. Hamilton would clear Bottas by over three seconds for the lead.
Sebastian Vettel was running fourth on lap 39 when he pitted, but the Ferrari pit crew had issues, switching the tires from medium to hard during the stop, causing a 13-second stop. Vettel came back out behind Antonio Giovanazzi in 14th place.
A few laps later, Bottas overshot the corner, causing Verstappen to overtake him into second place.
On lap 51, Verstappen’s right-rear tire broke, causing him to spin onto the gravel, retiring from the race. This is Verstappen’s fourth DNF of the season. Sergio Perez, due to the safety car early in the race, overtook six cars, was running in fourth when Racing Point decided to send him to the pits to get soft tires. Daniel Ricciardo went into podium position after the stops occured.
George Russell, one of two drivers without a point this season, was running 10th when he spun and crashed into the wall on lap 53, ending his day early.
As the track went green again, Albon spun off the track, forcing him all the way toward the back. Kvyat passed Leclerc for fourth place.
Hamilton won the race over Bottas by over five seconds as he secured the fastest lap of the race. This result clinched the seventh consecutive constructor’s championship, the first constructor to accomplish that in Formula 1 history.
Ricciardo finished third, achieving his second podium finish in three races. Kvyat finished a second behind Ricciardo for fourth, his highest finish of 2020.
Leclerc finished fifth, followed by Perez and the two McLarens, Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.
Rounding out the top 10 were the two ALFA Romeo drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Giovanazzi. This caps off a week that saw both resign for the team next season.
F1 next heads to Turkey for the Turkish Grand Prix in two weeks.