Another Mercedes 1-2 and Red Bull podium belied a highly entertaining Tuscan Grand Prix, with battles up and down the grid and plenty of cars out of position.
There were headline results for several drivers, while also some big names amongst the eight retirements of the grand prix and some significant results for the championship too.
Here we take a look at the winners and losers of the weekend.
Coming into the weekend, the consensus seemed to be that Mugello would be a brilliant one-off spectacle, seeing the cars going round such a fast, incredible circuit.
But it wasn’t meant to produce an exciting race, and it delivered the drama in spades. There’s now genuine talk about it returning to the calendar as a permanent fixture rather than the inventive experiment.
While it felt a bit tiresome that all the overtakes came at turn one, especially by the end of the race, it was interesting to see a different type of turn at the end of the straight.
Rather than the Tilke heavy braking zones, this was more like Stowe and proved a great success, while the drivers were unanimous in praising the track as a driving experience.
Incidentally, it would’ve been interesting to see more drivers defend turn one on the outside – Charles Leclerc nearly fended off Sergio Pérez successfully in a woefully underpowered Ferrari after the first red flag.
Loser: Monza podium drivers
All three drivers that graced the most unlikely of podiums last week at Monza failed to finish the race this time around. F1’s 109th race winner only completed it through a corner before his race came to an end, after his worse qualifying of the season had left him starting 16th.
He attempted an optimistic move between Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean which ended with the two Frenchman spinning off at Luco, with Gasly retiring.
Carlos Sainz was having a decent weekend and impressively out-qualified teammate Lando Norris. But he span at the second corner, around 50 yards away from where Gasly met his demise. His afternoon then ended prematurely as he was caught up in the lap seven incident, ploughing into the back of the braking Antonio Giovinazzi and getting a closer look at the Alfa’s underside than he’d bargained for.
It looked like Lance Stroll was on for a very good result until he spun into the wall at Arabiata Two, in an incident similar to Daniil Kvyat’s crash at Becketts in the British Grand Prix.
L’énorme crash de Lance Stroll 😳
— F1 Time ⏱ (@F1TimeOff) September 13, 2020
Winner: Kimi Räikkönen
The Finn finally got himself on the board for the 2020 season . In the grand scheme of his 1800-plus F1 points it’s not a standout result, Raikkonen crossed the line as the highest-placed Ferrari-powered driver, and even after he was relegated by the penalty the Finn was ninth and closer to Charles Leclerc than George Russell. Ultimately it was the right call from Alfa.
Loser: George Russell
Argh Williams. After all the emotion of last weekend this would’ve been the perfect moment, and one of the stories of the weekend.
The last time they finished in the points was Monza 2018, and they only avoided a duck last season thanks to Alfa Romeo’s driver aid infringement at the German Grand Prix.
Possibly the most depressing thing about their situation is that even in manic races such as this or the Italian, British and Austrian GPs they’re not able to get over the line whereas teams like Haas and Alfa Romeo have that knack.
In those races, Williams drivers finished 11th, 12th and 11th (alongside the 11th here, and the initial 12th and 13th at Hockenheim last year).
The whole F1 fanbase is willing them to get over the line but after they failed in the last two weekends there’s no guarantee as to when the next opportunity will arise.
Winner: Alex Albon
Finally!!! Albon couldn’t have picked a better time to bag the biggest result of his career so far, and it was brilliant to see him finally get over the line.
Gasly’s win last week heaped all the pressure on Albon to deliver, the Thai needing a headline result to justify his year at Red Bull and stall the calls for Gasly to take his seat.
He seemed to struggle in practice but was able to get fourth in qualifying, and then had to get the all-important third the hard way, going round the outside of Ricciardo to take the place.
It’s important that this isn’t the high point though, he feels he has more to give at Red Bull and
Although it also would’ve been nice to see Ricciardo hold on for Renault’s first podium since rejoining the sport.
Loser: Valtteri Bottas
A weekend that promised so much for Bottas as he topped every session until Q2 and held the race lead, but as we’ve seen so many times once Hamilton got ahead there was no way to stick with him.
It’s a tough one for Bottas as he absolutely nailed the safety car restart for his own interests, unfortunately in doing so half the grid second-guessed him and went early, causing a Spa-1998 crash.
Hamilton clearly had better pace but Bottas might’ve been able to fend off with track position – he did so at the season opener on a much more overtaking-friendly track.
Ultimately we’ll never know, instead it counts as another what might’ve been for the Finn.
“That was ******** stupid from whoever was at the front. They want to kill us or what? ****. This is the worst thing I’ve seen ever.”
Romain Grosjean after the lap 7 crash, which saw four cars retire and Grosjean carry damage for the rest of the race.
Loser: Max Verstappen
It’s been a really tough Italian double-header for Verstappen. At Mugello he looked genuinely capable of taking the fight to Mercedes, but instead he was punted.off at Luco in the carnage and now sits 25 points behind Bottas in the drivers’ standings.
At least he helped animate the race, but not in the way fans will have hoped for and given how Albon came on strong at the end, he must be rueing what he could’ve done with the machinery.
This doesn’t reflect well on Honda either, they’d probably be in the losers if the race hadn’t been so dramatic.
Winner: Mick Schumacher
A few rounds ago in F2, Mick Schumacher was looking like the ugly duckling of the Ferrari contingent as he lagged behind Callum Illot and Robert Schwartzman and seemingly only in contention for a 2021 seat because of his surname.
He leaves Mugello with the championship lead, widespread rumours he’ll be on the F1 grid next year and an unforgettable experience driving his father’s championship-winning Ferrari F2004 around the circuit.
His results on the weekend were quietly solid with top-five finishes in both races and 18 points pocketed, while he’s rocketed into pole position for promotion to F1.