MERCEDES TAKES 7TH CONSECUTIVE CONSTRUCTORS TITLE AS HAMILTON WINS IN IMOLA
Mercedes took yet another 1-2 this season which meant that Mercedes wrapped up the Constructors title for a seventh consecutive constructors title - a new F1 record. It was a 93rd win for championship leader Lewis Hamilton as Bottas come over the line in second and Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) takes another third place in his final season for the Renault team.
It was a relatively clean first lap the first bit of contact came into the first corner when Lance Stroll (Racing Point) made contact with the car in front of him causing his front wing to break which then dropped off the car and was left on the side of the track for a considerable number of laps - it was later believed that Bottas (Mercedes) ran over this piece of debris causing him to loose significant amounts of downforce which badly affected his race. Then into Tosa (Turn 7) Magnussen spins round - no contact was made.
Then on lap nine the fired up Pierre Gasly - the new race winner for this year was forced to retire his Alpha Tauri with a terminal issue with the car. And twenty laps later it was the Renault of Esteban Ocon who was forced to pull over with a clutch problem. The next lap the Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was called out - when this happens all drivers must slow down to a specific speed / delta. Hamilton timed this perfectly for his pit stop which meant he was able to come back out in front when in a scenario where the VSC was not out Hamilton should theoretically exited the pits in second or third. The VSC ended the next lap on lap 31.
On lap 42 after many laps of battling Bottas ran slightly wide dipping a wheel onto the gravel Verstappen took full advantage and passed the Silver Arrow - to take second place - at the point 13 seconds behind then race leader Hamilton.
Seven laps later Magnussen came into the pits after complaining a few laps earlier that every time he upshifted it was like someone was kicking him in the head - of course the safety of all drivers is number one priority.
Before lap 51 nothing that exciting had happened and you start to think - theres not many overtakes which is a shame because Imola is such a legendary track. Then second placed Verstappen is seen beached in the gravel after his right rear collapsed before he got to the braking zone into T6. This gave Bottas second back and caused a full course Safety Car the next lap on lap 52.
The Safety Car lasted until lap 57 but not without any drama as George Russell who was tantalisingly close to his first points in F1 before he dropped it into the braking zone causing him to slide into the barriers and out of the race - we saw afterwards that he was visibly distraught just by his body language - Russell knew how close he was.
And on the Safety Car restart on lap 58 Albon (Red Bull) was attempting to make a pass on Perez (Racing Point) when like Russell (Williams) dropped the braking and spun leaving him down in 15th and last.
Of course when at Imola you cant forget about 'that' weekend of 1994 when F1 lost Roland Ratzenberger and then Ayrton Senna. Formula One's worst weekend - a weekend that changed F1 for the better.
The next race is the Turkish Grand Prix.