Things we learned from the Tuscan Grand Prix

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Despite two red-flag periods, the inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix saw Mercedes continue its dominant form, clinching their third one-two finish in the coronavirus-delayed 2020 F1 season.

Maximum point – Lewis Hamilton scored 26 points at last weekend’s Tuscan Grand Prix by winning the race and claiming the additional point for the fastest race lap. That is the maximum point tally that a driver can score during a weekend, and the Briton achieved this feat for the second time in 2020 with the other occasion being the Hungarian Grand Prix. When it comes to victories, the six-time world champion scored his sixth triumph in the season after only losing out at the Austrian, 70th Anniversary and the Italian Grands Prix.

Double-scoring teams – Following many retirements, only two teams scored points with both their drivers. Mercedes claimed its third one-two finish in the season, scoring the maximum amount of points thanks to also setting the fastest race lap. Ferrari was the only other team to gain points with both their drivers – that was only the third occasion for the Scuderia to finish in the points with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel in the same race. However, even so, the Italians added only five points to their tally after the Monegasque and the German finished down in 8th and 10th place respectively.

Vital points - George Russell came very close to scoring Williams’ first points in the season, but a dismal start after the second red-flag period meant that he slipped down the order to P11, and he was unable to regain the lost positions in the closing stage of the race. In contrast, Alfa Romeo finished in the points for the first time since the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix. Just like at Spielberg, the Hinwil-based outfit scored points courtesy of Kimi Räikkönen.

The additional point – Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest lap of the Tuscan Grand Prix. The Briton registered a time of 1m18.833 on the 58th lap of the 59-lap race, claiming the additional championship point. Valtteri Bottas’ qucikest lap was 0.599s slower than his teammate’s best lap. Alex Albon set the third quickest lap of the race, but his time was over 1.2s slower than Hamilton’s best, highlighting once again the utterly dominant form of Mercedes’ 2020 car, the W11.

Fastest in the pit lane – Mercedes beat Red Bull with its outright pace, but it was the other way around when it came to the performance in the pit lane. The energy drink-owned team changed the used tyres for fresh boots on Alexander Albon’s car in 2.02s. Ferrari continued its miserable form at Mugello, but the Italians were quick in the pits, changing Sebastian Vettel’s tyres in just 2.4s. After their impressive performance during the pit stops in 2019, Williams found itself at the bottom end of the list at the Tuscan Grand Prix.

The saga continues – The uncertainty revolving around Racing Point’s rear brake ducts continued at Mugello. The team continued to use its Mercedes-inspired solution at the Tuscan Grand Prix that has been in the centre of attention since the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix. The team has had 15 championship points deducted and been fined 400,000 Euros ($472,942) after the FIA upheld Renault's protest over its controversial car. Since the 70th Anniversay Grand Prix, the Silverstone-based outfit has been given a reprimand for using the part in question, but the FIA has now closed the matter. After Renault, McLaren and Ferrari have all withdrawn their appeal against the ruling, the team has not received a reprimand this weekend.

The FIA stewards’ statement read: „In relation to penalty, notwithstanding our comments above concerning consistency, we believe that it would be of no consequence or value to impose a penalty in relation to the breach at this event, considering the original Decisions of the Stewards (which were previously the subject of appeals which have been withdrawn), are now Final.”

New units – At the Tuscan Grand Prix, only Charles Leclerc sused a fresh gearbox. The Monegasque was entitled to use a new unit as he did not finish the previous race at Monza. Following the Italian Grand Prix at which many teams installed fresh power unit components in to their cars, only the Haas team opted for fresh parts on this front. The American team gave a fresh internal combustion engine to Kevin Magnussed while the Dane’s teammate Romain Grosjean completed the weekend with a new turbocharger and MGU-H.

Penalty – Kimi Räikkönen has been penalised for not keeping to the right and crossing the white line at the pit entry. After the stewards reviewed the incident from multiple angles, the Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen driver was handed a five-second penalty that he served after the race and was also given a penaly point. Räikkönen has now a total of 4 points in the 12-month period.

The fast Briton – George Russell achieved the highest top-speed during the race by recording 329.5 kph through the speed trap. Of the drivers finishing the grand prix at Mugello, race winner Lewis Hamilton posted the lowest top speed by only registering 298.4 kph through the same spot which highlights the fact of how powerful the DRS was that the Briton was not able to use given his track position.

Experimenting team – McLaren continued its experiements with different upgrades. The Woking-based outfit has been brave and innovative throughout the whole year by introducing new parts, flirting with new development paths in a time when development work is very difficult given the freeze on new parts at many fronts of the car. McLaren sent Lando Norris out on to the Mugello track in the first free practice session with a new nose cone design that was pioneered by Mercedes in recent year. The new solution features a narrow main structure, and narrow under nose pillars while the cape is also positioned higher.