F1: Hamilton Victorious In Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, Mercedes Win Constructors

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Lewis Hamilton alongside Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo in parc fermé in Imola. Image sourced from @MercedesAMGF1 via Twitter.

Mercedes’ Make History With Imola 1-2.

His7ory In Italy

Lewis Hamilton led home a Mercedes’ 1-2 to take his 93rd career victory after a stunning performance in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

A result which saw the ‘Silver Arrows’ claim their seventh consecutive constructors championship, taking the record from former holders Ferrari who achieved six.

Hamilton overcame a poor start where he dropped to third to take the lead from Valtteri Bottas after an extended opening stint and subsequent VSC promoted him to his finishing position.

“It’s overwhelming right now. I look at my team and think of everyone back home at Brackley – they’re the unsung heroes,” said Hamilton.

“People watching at home might think we are used to this but to be part of breaking a record (seven consecutive titles) like this is incredible.”

Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff on becoming the first ever team to win seven consecutive constructors championships, “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.”

Debris Destruction

Valtteri Bottas who retained his pole position off the line struggled for the majority of the race after running over debris from Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari, ultimately causing ‘significant floor damage’ to his W11.

The Finn dropped to second once Hamilton made his stop under VSC but later fell to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen passed him through turn one on lap 43.

Fortunately for Bottas, Verstappen succumbed to issues of his own when a tyre failure put an end his race in the succeeding laps.

Once I got past Valtteri, the pace was good, the car was feeling quite good and then suddenly on the straight I lost the car because there was a tyre blowout,” Verstappen told Sky F1.

“I don’t know exactly what happened but when I looked on the car there was nothing broken on the car.”

“It’s a big shame. It was a lot more fun, I was really pushing and trying to stay with them, so it’s a shame to not be on the podium and not just be on the podium, to be second. It’s a big shame.”

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner stated: “We think he picked up some sort of debris or something.”

Team Boss Christian Horner’s Red Bull team left the historic Italian circuit with zero points as Mercedes took another title. Copyright © Getty Images.

“He was on the radio to his engineer at the time and then boom, the tyre suddenly went. It sounds like something has caused a total instantaneous puncture. That was frustrating, particularly after he managed to pass Valtteri.”

Relieved from Verstappen’s pressure, Bottas followed home team-mate Hamilton in a comfortable second place as Mercedes’ took yet another max points haul on their way to the title.

“The debris made quite a big impact today,” said Bottas.

“On lap 2 suddenly out of turn seven there was debris. I didn’t have time to avoid it – I got some damage that made it quite tricky to drive.”

Another F****** Podium?

The ‘Honey Badger’, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo took advantage of others misfortune on his way to a second podium in three races.

The Australian held off former Red Bull team-mate Danil Kvyat to round out the rostrum in third position at Imola.

Ricciardo: “Two podiums in three races. I’m very happy and I didn’t forget to do the ‘shoey’ this time around. We were pretty settled in fifth but then Max triggered the safety car. It was the right thing to stay out, especially after Pérez pitted.”

“It is pretty difficult to overtake here and it was worth the risk today. The result here means we get into third in the Championship, which is what the team is aiming for. I’m super happy to come away from Imola with a great podium.”

Daniil Kvyat crossed the line in fourth, followed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who held off Sergio Pérez’s Racing Point in sixth.

The Mexican was occupying a podium place until a late gamble by his team saw him pit under safety car. Despite his fresh tyre’s Pérez was unable to overcome the dirty air and lack of overtaking opportunities.

“We basically gave the podium to Ricciardo,” said Pérez.

“Overtaking today was extremely difficult. I haven’t spoken to the team yet [regarding the late pit-stop]. They must have some reasons on it.

“Just painful, painful day, because we had a podium in the pocket. It’s hard to digest. In hindsight, it was the wrong call today.”

In seventh and eight was the McLaren duo of Carlos Sainz Jr. & Lando Norris, followed by the Alfa Romeo’s of Kimi Räikkönen & Antonio Giovinazzi in ninth and tenth respectively.

Imola Adversity

After a strong performance in qualifying, Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri faced some reliability concern pre-race which ultimately came to fruition in the form of a coolant leak, forcing him to retire in the early stages.

Pierre Gasly was sporting an Ayrton Senna tribute helmet in Italy. Image sourced from @AlphaTauriF1 via Twitter.

Gasly: “This one is quite difficult to take. The guys spotted a drop of water pressure on the laps to the grid before the race, so they tried everything to fix it but unfortunately, it didn’t work out and we had to retire the car after a few laps.”

Williams’ George Russell was poised for a maiden career points finish in Italy before he spun into the barriers under the Safety Car which was deployed for a stricken Verstappen on lap 53.

I was pushing as hard as I could from lap one,” said Russell

“The most aggressive I have ever been. I knew that with the guys behind me on the new tyres and myself on the old tyres, I had to be super aggressive to be in with the chance of getting a point. I came out of the corner and the tyres were too cold and I just lost the car, and I was already in the wall.”

“It is absolutely gutting, and I am really sorry to the team. We were having an amazing race up until then, we were pushing really hard every lap and the pace was good. There are no excuses, I have to go away and learn from this and come back stronger next time.”

Race Highlights

 

 

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