Mugello
2020 Tuscan Grand Prix, Sunday - LAT Images Credit: Mercedes media site

The inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix exceeded expectations by providing a dramatic and chaotic race with interesting storylines playing out up and down the field.

It featured three grid starts, only twelve finishers and moves for the lead and podium places, before Lewis Hamilton crossed the line to take the win ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Alex Albon secured his maiden podium.

Here we look at the highlights from the weekend, which mainly feature the main straight and the ‘undefendable’ turn one.

Drama at the start

Bottas got everyone excited at the start of the race as he made a much better getaway than Hamilton and took the lead into turn one.

However, his move was overshadowed by events further down the grid, where a multi-car incident saw Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly’s races end early.

The root cause of the carnage was an optimistic Gasly attempting to squeeze through Raikkonen and Grosjean on the run to turn two.

As the gap closed he hopped over Raikkonen’s wheel and shoved the Finn into Verstappen while Grosjean was sent spinning into the gravel but was able to continue.

“The worst thing I’ve seen ever”

This huge crash at the safety car restart was in some ways the decisive moment of the race as it nullified Bottas’ brilliant restart to retain the lead over Lewis Hamilton.

At that stage Bottas had looked strong, but following the post-red flag restart he was jumped by Hamilton and gradually put out of contention for the win.

Grosjean’s proclamation that it’s the most dangerous thing he’s ever seen sounded a bit rich – Fernando Alonso at Spa 2012 might have something to say about that – but it was certainly a huge and terrifying crash.

It’s a testament to F1 safety standards, most notably Carlos Sainz’s halo, that all drivers walked away unscathed.

Tuscan GP: Hamilton survives chaotic race to win at Mugello

Tuscan GP: Hamilton edges pole from Bottas

F1 Championship standings

Third time lucky for Alex

Following Pierre Gasly’s incredible win at Monza last week the pressure has turned up even more on Alex Albon as the Frenchman looks more and more like a genuine candidate to take back the second seat at Red Bull.

At Monza, Albon finished second-last as the team struggled so to finally achieve his first podium in F1 was the perfect way to bounce back.

He was running in the top five for most of the race and following Verstappen’s retirement he carried all the Red Bull hopes, and in the closing laps was finally able to pass Daniel Ricciardo around the outside of turn one for the crucial position.

The move will have been sweet for Christian Horner too, given his verbal spars with Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul over the years, who’s promised to get a tattoo if his team get a podium.

FOR WHAT?!?

Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed a good race on the whole – he was the highest-placed Ferrari finisher on the road, and even with a five-second penalty he finished ninth and got himself on the scoreboard for the season.

He wasn’t too happy with the radio message informing him of the penalty though, and gave a rare burst of rage over the airwaves.

Possibly the best part of this is Raikkonen’s race engineer feeling the need to explain what a five-second time penalty means to the 2007 World Champion, the second-most experienced driver in F1.

Like father, like son

A bit of a different one to finish on, Mick Schumacher had a good weekend in F2 as he retained the championship lead and added another 14 points to his haul.

There’s growing rumours that the Prema driver will be given an F1 seat for next year and this weekend will have doused none of those.

What made it unforgettable though, was his performance in another red car, as he took out his father’s title-winning F2004 around Mugello, bringing waves of nostalgia for many of the F1 community.

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