Formula One’s third visit to Italy has not failed to deliver thrill and excitement with crashes, mechanical failures, safety car periods, chess game-like tactical battles and some great overtaking manoeuvres spicing up the air around Imola’s the legendary and historic Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.
Mercedes might have secured their fifth one-two finish in 2020, but it was a close fight between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas this time out. After securing the pole position for Formula One’s 100th race in Italy, Bottas was adamant to fight hard for his 10th career win. The Finn got off the line well, clinging on to the lead while his teammate Hamilton lost his second place to Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen into the second corner.
However, the luck helped the reigning champion when the Finn picked up some debris on Lap 2, ruining his race. When Red Bull pitted Verstappen quite early, Bottas was also called into the pits which gave then Lewis the chance to unleash the potential of his dominant Mercedes W11. The Briton then cruised to his 93 career victory with Bottas helping Mercedes register another one-two finish.
MercedesLewis Hamilton, 1st
"It's very overwhelming right now. I look at this team and think of everyone back at Brackley and Brixworth, they are the unsung heroes. They are the ones grafting away, never giving up, continuing to push, elevate and innovate. A big congratulations to the team on a hugely deserved Constructors' title. I'm forever grateful to everyone and so, so proud to be a part of it. To come back year on year and deliver such great performance is absolutely unbelievable. Seven-time champions - that's something I'm going to be able to tell my grandchildren one day. No team has ever achieved this and I feel honoured to be a part of breaking this record.
"A big, big thank you to the entire Mercedes family, to PETRONAS and all of our partners, because we wouldn't be able to do what we do without them. The race itself was an exhausting one, particularly with the speeds that we are experiencing around this track. I had a tricky start but extended the stint and managed to fight back to the front. It feels fantastic to clinch the title today at Imola in style with a 1-2."Valtteri Bottas, 2nd
"A massive congratulations to the team on winning the constructors' championship! I'm really proud to be a part of this team and thankful for everyone's hard work and dedication. It's well deserved and I'm really happy for everyone at the track, Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart. This team keeps pushing and raising the bar and it's inspiring to work with such a dedicated and driven group.
"Obviously, it was a tough race for me today. The start was really good but then on lap two, out of Turn 7, there was some debris on the track. I didn't have time to avoid it, so I aimed for the middle of the car, trying not to run over the debris with the tyres. But it caused some damage and got stuck on the car somehow, which made the car really tricky to drive and also cost a chunk of performance. I was trying as hard as I could to keep Max behind me and had to push over my limits, which led to some mistakes. It was a bit of an unlucky day for me after such a promising start, but it's still good to pick up another podium and play my part in the Constructors' title win."
“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 Perez pitted. It is pretty difficult to overtake here and it was worth the risk today: it paid off. It’s a shame about Esteban as the car was strong 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: big thanks for everyone at the team. No second tattoo this time round though, I think Cyril’s suffered enough!”Esteban Ocon, DNF
“It was a tough weekend overall, with a succession of bad luck this weekend. We had a few issues this afternoon. We had a tear off in the brake duct, which meant that we pitted early to take it off and then we had a gearbox problem. Nonetheless I’m very happy for the team today for this podium again, well done to Daniel. This is very positive for the team, we are coming strong and it bodes well for the rest of the season and months to come. We are third in the championship now; we knew this is what we are fighting for so it’s good to be ending the weekend like this.”
AlphaTauriPierre Gasly, DNF
“This one is quite difficult to take. I had a great start and tried to go alongside Lewis, but he decided to close the door quite hard and I had to back off and lost one position to Daniel, but after that, I felt really good in the car and we were running in P5. The guys spotted a drop of water pressure on the laps to the grid before the race, they tried everything to fix it but unfortunately, we had to retire the car after a few laps. It’s very sad because there was a big opportunity for us today. The whole weekend went so well, it was the best practice and the best qualifying we’ve had and the car felt very strong from the beginning. It’s never nice to retire, but it’s especially tough here in Imola for our home race, because we knew there was a potential top-five result on the table.”Daniil Kvyat, 4th
“It was a very good and fun race, the car felt amazing and I really enjoyed myself out there! The Safety Car restart was very important, and I managed to overtake a few cars on that lap. Unfortunately, Daniel managed to warm up his tyres so even if I pushed very hard until the end to overtake him, I just missed out on the final podium spot. It’s a shame but I’m still very satisfied with my driving and happy with the team’s job. We recovered small points to Ferrari in the constructors' championship, so I hope we can give them a little fight until the end.”
FerrariSebastian Vettel, 12th
"We started on the medium, which was the right thing to do as it was still working very well, even after a good amount of laps. Today the pace was good in the first stint, then we lost time in the pit stop, which is a shame. We tried to come back with the soft tyre at the end, but it was very difficult to make progress in a train of cars. This is clearly not the result we wanted and for sure not the one we would have deserved today.
"I was comfortable in the car even if this year the problem is more severe in qualifying, where I struggle to get a feel for the car. We have to remain patient and continue to make gradual progress, as we have been doing, given that we missed Q3 by just two tenths yesterday. If we can start from a bit higher up the grid, the next races could bring us better results."Charles Leclerc, 5th
"P5 feels quite good today, I think we did the maximum. We expected a very difficult first stint, but in fact, we were quite competitive. Then we switched to the Hard and we were probably a tiny bit quicker than Daniel (Ricciardo) in front, but not enough to overtake, so we were stuck behind him. Then, at the restart after the safety car I struggled more than Daniil (Kvyat), who was coming up behind me on new tyres. I was really pushing from the beginning to the end and I feel we were quite competitive during the whole race. Also, we did a good job in managing our tyres."
Racing PointSergio Perez, 6th
“It was clear that today we had the podium in our pocket and I’m disappointed we missed out. It’s easy to be critical with the benefit of hindsight, but ultimately we should have tried staying out and keeping track position. However, I don’t want to be critical of my team; the important thing is that we learn the lesson for next time. We still put in a great performance to go from P11 and into P6 to score some really strong points. It was clear in the race that it was very tough to overtake and we still managed to improve with a tremendous first stint on the medium tyres – and it was a good decision to pit when we did [on lap 27] to gain three places. It was very close to being the perfect race for us today. We will keep pushing and we’re looking forward to returning to Turkey next time out.”Lance Stroll, 13th
“It was a really difficult day out there. The contact with Esteban [Ocon] on the first lap really ruined my race and I had significant damage to the front wing. It's a shame because I was able to make up a couple of places at the start. After the contact, we came in at the end of the first lap and switched to the hard tyre, but we knew that without a really disrupted race, it was going to be tough to make up many places because it’s so hard to overtake here. At the final pit stop, I had really cold brakes and that meant I overshot the pit box. I’m really glad to hear that my mechanic is okay – that’s the most important thing. There’s not a lot of positives to take from today, so onwards and upwards now. I’ll work hard to turn the corner in Turkey.”
McLarenCarlos Sainz, 7th
“It’s been a decent and well-executed race for the team. We moved up three positions, the boys did good pit stops, we stayed out of trouble and pace-wise I felt like we were a bit faster than the cars ahead. However, overtaking was extremely difficult and I couldn’t move up the order as much as I obviously wanted.
“I had a big moment at the restart when Albon spun right in front me. I had to stamp on the brakes and then defend from the cars behind. I managed to save it and bring the car home seventh. With both cars in the top 10, we scored good points to keep in the fight for the championship, but we need to keep improving because it keeps getting tighter and tighter.”
Lando Norris, 8th“
There wasn’t a lot we could do today. We couldn’t overtake, but neither could a lot of the field, even after the Safety Car. We just didn’t have a big enough pace advantage to pass the cars in front. Even if you’re three or four tenths quicker, you just get stuck behind. They only have to defend into Turn 1 and then they’re safe for the rest of the lap. It became a race of trying to defend our position.
“Saying that, I don’t think we should be too disappointed. We still have a lot of pace, we’ve just been unlucky recently. We need to make sure it goes our way in the final few races and that’s what we’ll try and do.”
Alfa RomeoKimi Raikkonen, 9th
“It was a good result for the team, with two cars in the points, so we can be happy about our race. We knew we could make the tyres last so to run as long as we could was the plan all along. We pitted when we did and the Safety Car came out soon after, which is obviously a bit frustrating, but I don’t know if it would have made much of a difference. In the end, we had good race pace and we were able to be in the right place to gain from the opportunities that arose. We have been closing the gap lately, there’s obviously still much we can improve, but we keep working hard for that.”Antonio Giovinazzi, 10th
“I am really happy for the team’s result and, of course, for scoring points in my home Grand Prix. It has been a very strong race, especially starting from last place, and finishing in the top ten really was the most we could do. Our strategy was good and climbing six places in the first lap definitely helped. It’s a nice way to celebrate signing a new contract and I am grateful to everyone in the team for today’s race.”
"I was pushing as hard as I could from lap one, 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."Nicholas Latifi, 11th
"It was a strong race for me today, especially off the back of a really tough weekend in Portugal. We ran really long in the first stint aiming to have a tyre life advantage at the end. It seemed that the prime tyre was not a great race tyre in terms of how much grip it was giving, and I didn’t really feel any quicker on it. I hoped to capitalise on the second stint but my restart after the safety car was poor. Antonio (Giovinazzi) made a mistake in the chicane on the last lap which gave me DRS. We seemed to have a pretty decent straight-line speed advantage compared to the Alfa Romeos this weekend, so with one more lap maybe I could have got past him for 10th. It is a bit disappointing, but the overall pace today was encouraging."
HaasRomain Grosjean, 14th
“It was a long afternoon. We tried and we pushed hard, but we were lacking pace and straight-line speed, so there wasn’t really a chance. I thought we might have had a chance after the Safety Car, but we were losing too much on the straight – I really struggled with that. It’s a good track, we’ve had fun, now it’s on to the next one.”Kevin Magnussen, DNF
“We had a problem with the gearbox – we had it yesterday as well on my fastest lap in qualifying. The problem came back in the race, it was there from the first lap. I was having slow up-shifts, and not only are they slow, it’s also like a big bang every time you up-shift. It seems okay for a couple of laps but then it starts shaking your head crazily. By the end I just had a massive headache - I told the team. I think they felt there was nothing to fight for, so they boxed me. I mean, I was spun around at the start and that was really the end of it. I lost so much time getting back on track. The pace was really good actually, it was better than we had expected – even with the up-shifts that were costing us around half a second a lap.”
Max Verstappen, DNF
“I had a good start and was enjoying fighting and staying with both Mercedes cars. I had a good start and got past Lewis, I pitted early to trigger the pit stops and Valtteri followed, but he had damage and started holding us up after the stop so we lost a lot of time to Lewis who was in clean air. Once I got past him, the pace was there and the car felt good. I was actually having a lot of fun and then suddenly on the straight I lost the car because of some sort of tyre failure, so it’s a big shame because it would’ve been very nice to have second place and another podium. It is what it is and to score zero points is obviously not what you want but overall the race itself was very positive.”
“Finishing last didn't show what really happened throughout the race, it was tricky out there and it was one of those races where we spent lots of time behind other cars in a train. I don't really know what happened at the restart yet. The tyres were cold and I had to push hard to try and stay ahead of the cars who had pitted under the Safety Car, which caused the spin, but it also felt like I may have got clipped but I'm not sure. It all just happened so quickly. In hindsight maybe we could have done something different, it was a difficult one, if we pitted for softs like the other cars did towards the end of the race then we could have seen a much better result. Obviously, it's not what we wanted but I'm going to focus on Turkey now and take the positives from how the car felt and an improved Saturday."