F1 2020: Mercedes seal record 7th title as Hamilton wins at Imola

F1 2020: Mercedes seal record 7th title as Hamilton wins at Imola

1st Nov 2020 9:04 pm

Mercedes beat Ferrari’s record after clinching their seventh straight F1 teams’ title at Imola.

Mercedes made F1 history at Imola by securing their seventh straight constructors’ championship as Lewis Hamilton won the Emilia Romagna GP ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas. With this, Mercedes have eclipsed previous record-holder Ferrari’s run of six constructors’ titles from 1999 to 2004.

Daniel Ricciardo clinched the final podium spot for Renault as F1’s return to Imola after 14 years served up a dramatic race.

  • Mercedes secure record-breaking 7th straight teams’ title
  • Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2
  • Ricciardo 3rd after Verstappen crashes out

Perfect timing for Hamilton at Imola

The narrow confines of the Imola track make overtaking here a difficult feat, making track position key. But while polesitter Bottas enjoyed a great start, Hamilton actually ended up losing a place to Verstappen into the first corner.

However, Bottas picked up some debris on the next lap, which left him with floor damage and some significant loss of downforce as a result. Hamilton opted to run a longer first stint and delay his pit stop as much as possible. And luck played into his hands as Esteban Ocon retired on lap 29, triggering a Virtual Safety Car period.

This allowed Hamilton to pit and comfortably re-join the race in the lead. With Bottas hampered by floor damage, it was a pretty straightforward race for Hamilton from there on.

Verstappen crashes out

Verstappen had managed to clear Bottas and looked to be well on his way to a 2nd place finish. But all that work was undone when he suffered what appeared to be a tyre failure with 12 laps to go. This brought out the Safety Car, which was forced to stay out even longer as George Russell spun out moments later while trying to get temperature into his tyres.

This set the stage for some tense final laps as drivers like AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez opted to pit for fresh tyres, while others like Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc decided to stay out and hold on to their positions.

Kvyat charges to 4th place finish

Taking full advantage of his fresh tyres, Kvyat enjoyed a blistering re-start and had gone from 7th to 5th by the first corner. He then passed Leclerc to move up to 4th place and started applying pressure on Ricciardo as well. But Ricciardo was able to successfully fend him off to claim his second podium finish this season.

Perez was also on a charge on his fresh tyres, but he was unable to find a way past Leclerc and had to settle for 6th place. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris followed them past the chequered flag in 7th and 8th places respectively.

Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen pulled off staggering 49 laps on his first set of tyres to secure a 9th place result. His teammate Antonio Giovinazzi finished behind him in 10th place to hand Alfa Romeo a double points finish.

Mercedes make F1 history

But the day belonged to Mercedes as they wrapped up the F1 2020 constructors’ championship with four races to spare. Just last week, Hamilton won the Portuguese GP to become the most successful F1 driver ever in terms of wins. With a seventh consecutive title in the bag, Mercedes have once again re-written the F1 records book.

The team has won every single championship in F1’s current hybrid era and team principal Toto Wolff reckons they can push the benchmark even higher. “This is something to be proud of. We have a group that is just amazing together, we've tried to push the benchmark to new levels and we've achieved that. If we stay motivated and energised, we can push it even more,” he said.

F1 2020 drivers’ championship

Hamilton has now extended his championship lead to 85 points. With just four more races to go, the Briton already has one hand on the title.

Verstappen’s retirement, meanwhile, guarantees Mercedes a record-extending seventh successive title double with Bottas the only driver who can deny Hamilton, if only mathematically.

2020 Emilia Romagna GP results

POS

DRIVER

CAR

LAPS

TIME/RETIRED

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

63

1:28:32.430

2

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

63

+5.783s

3

Daniel Ricciardo

Renault

63

+14.320s

4

Daniil Kvyat

AlphaTauri

63

+15.141s

5

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

63

+19.111s

6

Sergio Perez

Racing Point

63

+19.652s

7

Carlos Sainz

McLaren

63

+20.230s

8

Lando Norris

McLaren

63

+21.131s

9

Kimi Räikkönen

Alfa Romeo Racing

63

+22.224s

10

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo Racing

63

+26.398s

11

Nicholas Latifi

Williams

63

+27.135s

12

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

63

+28.453s

13

Lance Stroll

Racing Point

63

+29.163s

14

Romain Grosjean

Haas

63

+32.935s

15

Alexander Albon

Red Bull Racing

63

+57.284s

NC

George Russell

Williams

51

DNF

NC

Max Verstappen

Red Bull Racing

50

DNF

NC

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

47

DNF

NC

Esteban Ocon

Renault

27

DNF

NC

Pierre Gasly

AlphaTauri

8

DNF

Also see:

Honda to leave F1 at the end of 2021 season

 

 

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