Lewis Hamilton achieved his 90th career win by defeating fellow Mercedes Valtteri Bottas in the chaotic and accident-ridden Tuscan Grand Prix.
There were two red flags during the race, the first due to a pile up directly on the pit, and the second due to the high-speed crash of Lance Stroll.
In one of the most exciting races in years, six cars were retired before the race course ended.
Thai British Red Bull driver Alex Albon climbed the first podium in third place.
Hamilton’s victory was his sixth in nine races this season, and besides achieving the fastest lap in the penultimate round, he increased his lead in the championship to 65 points by the mid-season, and only put him one behind Michael Schumacher’s record ever. Wins.
At the pre-race anti-racism rally, he also gave interviews after the race, and on the podium, Hamilton wore a T-shirt that read: “Stop the policemen who killed Briona Taylor.”
It refers to one of a number of controversial cases in the United States where police officers shot and killed black civilians.
What caused the huge buildup?
Amidst a sequence of crashes and collisions, victory hinges on three situations that begin between Mercedes drivers.
Initially, Hamilton skipped first and lost the lead to Bottas, but the race only lasted three corners due to a collision between Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen and Pierre Gasly of Alfa Toure and Roman Grossgen.
The accident also resulted in the death of Max Verstappen of Red Bull, who developed engine problems while accelerating away from third place on the grid.
This led to a safety car, and at the start of the second half, when Bottas hit the field straight down the hole, there was a massive crash in the back of the field.
Hass Kevin Magnussen accelerated and then slowed, he said, due to the cars doing the same thing ahead of him. Williams’ driver Nicholas Latifi swerved to avoid him and Antonio Giovinazzi of Alfa Romeo shot Magnussen.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz then collided with the rear of the Giovinazzi and Magnussen cars, blasting the Alpha 90 degrees into the air before descending on all four wheels.
How Hamilton got the lead
At the start of the second half, the Mercedes drivers’ positions were reversed. Hamilton drafted Bottas down to Turn One and took the lead outside, dominating the race from there.
Mercedes drivers disappeared from a distance and appeared unstressed, but Bottas had problems with excessive wear of his front tires and began to fall dramatically further away from Hamilton.
Bottas had to dig earlier than expected to obtain new tires. Hamilton followed him the next time, ordering the two drivers to go away from the bulkheads to protect their tires.
The race seemed to be over, but that was counting without further development.
Racing Point’s Stroll was in the middle of a three-way battle for third place with Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo in front and behind Albon when his left rear tire exploded as he entered the second from two 170 mph Arabiata corners.
This resulted in a second red flag to repair the septum.
The last part of the race
At the start of the second half, with only 12 laps remaining, Bottas slowly turned away and lost second place to Ricardo.
But the Finn was able to overtake Renault the next time and secure second place.
That left Ricardo defending from Albon for third place, which would have been Renault’s first podium since their return to the sport in 2016.
But Albon had a lot of speed in Red Bull and overtook Renault with an impressive outward move from the first corner by three laps to take his first podium in Formula One.
Albon worked hard from the result. Starting in fourth place, he dropped to seventh at the second start and had to fight his way back, which he did with some excellent passes.
Ricardo finished fourth, ahead of Racing Point Sergio Perez and McLaren Lando Norris.
Williams’ George Russell just missed his first points, finishing 11th behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Ferrari had a difficult day as they celebrated their 1000th Grand Prix in Formula One. Charles Leclerc was third early on, but fell off the field, missing the pace and straight-line speed and finished in eighth.
A two-week welcome break after nine races in 11 weeks before the Russian Grand Prix, Hamilton could equal a record that some feel may never be broken – Schumacher’s total of 91 wins.
What did they say
Lewis Hamilton: It was like three races in one day. Just incredibly difficult today. The track is amazing and the heat and keeping Valtteri behind wasn’t easy. All that reboot was needed for total focus. It was really, Really difficult. Valtteri appeared out of nowhere when I saw Danny was behind. I didn’t want him to have DRS. My heart is racing. It’s crazy to be here and win 90 jackpots. “
Valtteri Bottas: “Disappointing. It was the start of a dream for me. The start was really good and I managed to hold my position when restarting the safety car. Looks like there was never a chance once I lost a position in the second start. That’s how it goes. I’ll keep pushing and I’ll keep trying to improve.” It should be fine for me at some point. “
Alex Albon: “It was good of course that getting here was some time but it was difficult. I had to work for it. I’m happy. I can breathe. It’s good to be here. It was brutal, especially high speed. In the second sector. In the second sector, adrenaline goes into it. In my body more than anything else. I’m happy. “