F1 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

© J. Francois Barnard – November 1, 2020

The Formula 1 Emirates Gran Premio dell'Emilia Romagna 2020 took place in Italy (again!) at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola.

At Imola, we had only a single practice session to see. With the last race run here in 2006, the teams had little to no historical data. Kimi Räikkönen is the only driver on the grid with any experience of this track.

The top of the charts looked familiar. Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time at 1:14.726, three tenths ahead of Max Verstappen. Valtteri Bottas was a further two tenths back.

Q1 saw Grosjean, Magnussen, Räikkönen, Latifi and Giovinazzi eliminated. The drivers battled to stay within the track limits. Take note that George Russell went through to Q2!

Eliminated in Q2 are Pérez - that's a surprise! - Ocon, Russell, Vettel - behind Russell! - and Stroll - another surprise. Valtteri Bottas qualified first in both Q1 and Q2.

In the third qualifying session, the Mercedes drivers were comfortably ahead of the rest of the pack. They switched places back and forth, but eventually, Bottas qualified first and Hamilton second. Verstappen came in third.

In the race, the start was clean, and Bottas got away nicely, while Hamilton lost a place to Verstappen. Gasly was retired on lap 9 with "a terminal situation on the car."

Bottas pitted first on lap 19, and Lewis and the team decided to keep him out, to overcut Bottas - not nice of them, is it? But we have to understand that Hamilton's driving style conserves the tyres better than Bottas's driving style, and Verstappen was a real threat at this stage of the race.

On lap 29, Esteban Ocon's Renault had gearbox issues, and he stopped next to the track. The race director sent out the safety car, and the timing was just perfect for Lewis Hamilton to come in for a cheap tyre change. He came out on hard tyres, ten seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas made a mistake on lap 42, allowing Verstappen to get very close to him. On the next DRS straight, Verstappen managed to get past Bottas.

On lap 51, though, Verstappen found himself in the gravel trap with a blown our right-rear tyre. The safety car came out so that they could retrieve his car.

During the safety car period, a bizarre accident took George Russell out of the race. He accelerated hard to spin and warm the tyres when his Williams suddenly swerved left into the barriers.

The race restarted at lap 58, and Bottas could rightfully feel cheated out of the lead of the race. With about everyone on fresh rubber, most drivers felt racy, and it was not long before Pérez went passed Alex Albon, who spun around as he hit the throttle. Mercedes won the race in positions one and two, and with that the seventh consecutive constructor's championship. Ricciardo came in third, and there was much talk about the tattoo for his boss again.

On the podium for the second time, Ricciardo took a "shoey" again and offered his other shoe with champagne to Lewis Hamilton. He enjoyed the champagne, flavoured with Australian shoe sweat.

2020 emilia shoey

Picture credit: Essentially Sports

The race classification:

Position Driver Constructor Grid Points
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2 26
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1 18
3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 5 15
4 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 8 12
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 7 10
6 Sergio Pérez Racing Point-BWT Mercedes 11 8
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 10 6
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 9 4
9 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 18 2
10 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 20 1

The 2020 Driver Standings

Lewis Hamilton

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Valtteri Bottas

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Max Verstappen

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Sergio Pérez

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Daniel Ricciardo

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Carlos Sainz

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Alexander Albon

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Charles Leclerc

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Lando Norris

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Pierre Gasly

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Lance Stroll

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Esteban Ocon

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Sebastian Vettel

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Daniil Kvyat

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Nico Hulkenberg

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Kimi Räikkönen
 

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Antonio Giovinazzi
 

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George Russell
 

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Romain Grosjean

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Kevin Magnussen

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Nicholas Latifi

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Jack Aitken
 

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Pietro Fittipaldi
 

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Team Standing

Mercedes

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Red Bull Racing

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McLaren

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Racing Point

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Renault

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Ferrari

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AlphaTauri

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Alfa Romeo Racing

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Haas F1 Team

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Williams

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