Mercedes has now won seven championships on the trot and likely Lewis Hamilton will also win his 7th world title in the next race in Turkey, equalling that of Michael Schumacher.
Lewis Hamilton completed his 93rd win in Formula One which also concluded in Mercedes wrapping up a record seventh consecutive championship at Imola which beats Ferrari’s record during the Michael Schumacher era in the late 90s and 2000s. Valtteri Bottas who started on pole got away well in the first stint but he captured floor damage which slowed his progress.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen overtook Hamilton at the start and was in hot pursuit of Bottas for most of the race. Hamilton pipped both by running longer by pitting late and got lucky because of the retirement of Esteban Ocon which trigged a very short virtual safety car. Bottas was later overtaken by Verstappen who then retired because of tyre puncture. This meant that Daniel Ricciardo was elevated to P3 scoring his second podium finish in the resurgent Renault.
Verstappen’s retirement triggered a late safety car which bunched the pack together. During this safety car period, George Russell crashed his car while trying to heat up the tyres. This period saw Sergio Perez in the Racing Point, Carlos Sainz Jr in the McLaren and Daniil Kvyat in the AlphaTauri moving to soft tyres. Kvyat jumped Leclerc in the Ferrari to score P4. Leclerc managed an impressive P5 in the Ferrari followed by Perez in the Racing Point at P6. Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris managed P7 and P8 respectively in the McLaren. Kimi Raikkonen arguably was the driver off the race managing P9 from qualifying position of P18 – his long stint on the medium tyres lasted 49 laps which left in good stead to jump into the points.
His former Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel was also in the running to jump into the points but a botched pitstop from Ferrari meant that he just managed P12. Raikkonen’s teammate Giovinazzi in the Alpha Romeo managed P10. Nicholas Latifi finished the sole Williams in P11, while Lance Stroll struggled his way to P13 in the Racing Point. Romain Grosjean finished at P14 in the Haas while his teammate Kevin Magnussen retired because of a headache. Alex Albon finished at P15 in the Red Bull after spinning during the restart after the safety car from P5.
Mercedes has now won seven championships on the trot and likely Lewis Hamilton will also win his 7th world title in the next race in Turkey. This win also meant that in the hybrid era Mercedes has won 100 races. Mercedes has officially cemented its place in the history of the sport as its most dominant team. This win comes in at an interesting time as Hamilton is yet to be confirmed for 2021 and Toto Wolffe, the team’s MD, has indicated a desire to take up a new role in the team with a less of a day to day role.
Imola GP Results
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +5.783s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault +14.320s
4 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri +15.141s
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +19.111s
6 Sergio Perez Racing Point +19.652s
7 Lando Norris McLaren +21.131s
8 Carlos Sainz McLaren +20.230s
9 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing +22.224s
10 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing +26.398s
11 Nicholas Latifi Williams +27.135s
12 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +28.453s
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point +29.163s
14 Romain Grosjean Haas +32.935s
15 Alex Albon Red Bull +56.984s
Did not finish
George Russell Williams crash
Max Verstappen Red Bull tyre failure
Kevin Magnussen Haas illness
Esteban Ocon Renault clutch
Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri engine