Driven

MEM­O­RABLE TUS­CANY

- Im­ages © DAIM­LER / F1 Sports · Formula One · Car Racing · Motorsports · Sweden · Kimi Räikkönen · Antonio Giovinazzi · Kevin Magnussen · Valtteri Bottas · Lewis Hamilton · AlphaTauri · Alfa Romeo · Racing Point F1 Team · Lance Stroll

The first-ever Tus­can GP is likely be re­mem­bered not for the wheel-to-wheel rac­ing it de­liv­ered, but for the drama that char­ac­terised it from the very first lap. While not any­one’s fault per se, the Al­phaTauri of Pierre Gasly, who won his first-ever race at this year’s Ital­ian GP, and the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Räikkö­nen made con­tact which re­sulted in a cloud of dust and parts.

While the safety car that fol­lowed this in­ci­dent made its way back into the pits, the con­certina ef­fect of driv­ers try­ing to get a head-start with the Lap 7 race restart, re­sulted in the other Alfa Romeo of An­to­nio Giov­inazzi rear-end­ing the Haas of

Kevin Mag­nussen caus­ing a mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar in­ci­dent in col­lat­eral dam­age. Some ex­perts reckon that this was a re­sult of Mugello’s lay­out, while oth­ers blamed Valt­teri Vik­tor Bot­tas (who was lead­ing the pack) for set­ting an in­con­sis­tent pace. The F1 rule­book, how­ever, states that the race leader can set the restart pace in or­der to pro­tect them­selves from the threat be­hind, in this in­stance his team­mate, Lewis Hamil­ton – so no, the num­ber 77 Merc is tech­ni­cally not at fault.

It was rel­a­tively smooth-sail­ing from there on­wards as only lit­tle more than half of the re­main­ing field per­formed a stand­ing restart that played well into

Hamil­ton’s hands as he claimed the lead.

On Lap 43, how­ever, an­other safety car and the sec­ond red flag of the race was de­ployed as the Rac­ing Point of Lance Stroll spun into the bar­ri­ers fol­low­ing what he re­ported to be a punc­ture – just an­other ru­ined tyre in a sea­son where the larger theme has not been that of en­gine per­for­mance, but rather tyre man­age­ment.

The out­right pace of Mercs proved to still be that of race-win­ning qual­ity, with Alex Al­bon – the mild-man­nered Thai driver who had been de­prived of two pre­vi­ous podium po­si­tions by Lewis Hamil­ton – fi­nally se­cur­ing the third step dur­ing a race that will surely be re­mem­bered for some time.

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