Lewis Hamilton has edged closer to Michael Schumacher’s records after winning a chaotic Tuscan GP, which included two red flags, two big multi-car crashes and incredible drama throughout as Formula 2020 served up another thriller at Mugello’s debut race.
A week on from an incident-packed and unpredictable afternoon at Monza, the second Italian race did not disappoint – but crucially this time Hamilton avoided the bedlam, and saw off Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
“That was definitely one of the craziest races I’ve had,” admitted Hamilton.
Only 12 drivers finished and there were three race starts in all, with Max Verstappen and Italian GP winner Pierre Gasly crashing out on the first lap around the epic Mugello circuit, while a scary pile-up following the post-Safety Car restart led to four more retirements and the first red flag.
Lance Stroll’s high-speed shunt caused another unexpected mid-race stoppage, but Hamilton kept his nerve and now leads the championship by 55 points, while he is just one win short of Schumacher’s all-time record of 91.
Alex Albon claimed a popular first F1 podium for Red Bull in third, overtaking a frustrated Daniel Ricciardo late on.
“It was all a bit of a daze,” added an exhausted Hamilton, who was passed by Bottas on the first race start, but overtook and then held off the Finn at the next two. “It was like three races in one day. It was incredibly tough.”
A downbeat Bottas stated: “It has to turn out well for me at some point.”
Sergio Perez, Lando Norris, Daniil Kvyat and Kimi Raikkonen made up for their respective team-mate’s exits with solid points, while Ferrari were the only team other than Mercedes to score a double-points finish – minor solace for the under-performing team at their milestone 1,000th race.
Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, who was caught up in the first-lap drama, were under pressure from a charging George Russell in the closing stages, but the Williams youngster has to wait for his first F1 points.
Tuscan GP result – top 10
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
3. Alex Albon, Red Bull
4. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault
5. Sergio Perez, Racing Point
6. Lando Norris, McLaren
7. Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri
8. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
9. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo
10. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari