Lewis Hamilton approached his seventh world title by winning the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna.
The one-two for Mercedes with Valtteri Bottas achieved a second record for the seventh consecutive constructors’ championship.
Chasing drivers for the drivers’ title, Hamilton is 85 points ahead of Bottas, who rose to second place when Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was punched.
Hamilton will win the title in the next race as long as Bottas is not overpowered by more than seven points.
Williams’ driver George Russell was on target to score his first points in Formula One but the Brit smashed while trying to warm his tires behind the safety car.
How did Hamilton win?
Hamilton slipped behind Verstappen to third after a bad start, but moved into a winning position before a virtual safety car confirmed his victory.
The race was shaping up to a tense scenario, in which the advantage was with Hamilton.
He decides to stay outside for a longer period before pausing – after Bottas and Verstappen have stopped to get new tires – to try to extend enough lead to stop and stay ahead.
Bottas was struggling with a damaged car – a large chunk of Ferrari wreckage got trapped in “barge plates” behind the front wheels and costed at least 0.5 seconds a lap – and stuck to Verstappen, and Hamilton set up a series of faster laps extending his interest.
He just told his Finnish engineer it was “an unsafe second for Lewis” – meaning Hamilton had enough bullets for the hole and stayed ahead of the curve – when race manager Michael Massey called a virtual safety car to retrieve a stricken Ocon Renault Esteban.
The safety car had been out of the car not much longer than Hamilton had been potholes for his new tires and was able to out by four seconds and cruise to science.
Bottas appears to have lost second place to Verstappen when he made too many mistakes locking his front wheels in a Rivazza.
On lap 42, Finn ran away and just slid into the edge of the cobbles, allowing Verstappen to close and pass to Tamburello at the start of the next lap.
But a hole in the right back for 10 laps later broke his suspension and sent him onto the cobbles, sending Bottas back into second place.
More dangerous than it seemed
Although Hamilton seemed to be in control once he took the lead, there are concerns in the Mercedes pit.
They noticed vibrations from its rear tires in the second half of the race – a warning sign of a possible impending failure – and Mercedes began to think it would need to stop again.
As a result of this concern, once the Verstappen tire failed, Mercedes would stop both cars to get new tires regardless of whether or not there was a safety car.
It is not yet known why the Verstappen Window failed. It did well during the expected wear period, and Pirelli will investigate whether the malfunction was caused by debris or affected by certain circuit properties that increase stress on the tires – particularly the high-grip track surface and the restraints that put a lot of power through the tires.
Frenzied last few laps
Verstappen’s crash sent the safety car to clear the damage and led to an action-packed battle for third in the closing laps.
But before the safety car was over, he contacted control of his attempt to warm his tires, and slid into the bulkhead.
The highly-rated Brit, who will be driving the Williams team again next season, cut a depressed figure as he walked away from his wrecked car, then sat in front of a fence and hit his knee several times in frustration.
Renault driver Danielle Ricardo, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and Red Bull driver Alexander Albon decided not to stop with new tires to protect the track location, while Racing Point driver Sergio Perez, Daniel Kviat of Alfa Tauri, McLaren Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris stopped to get new soft tires. Mercedes cars also did in the front.
At the start of the second half, Ricardo, Leclerc and Albon struggled to overheat their tires, and Kviat hit Albon and Perez in one step for Tamborilo, before Leclerc passed up the hill outside Tossa.
But Ricardo managed to repel the Russian to climb to his second podium and Renault in three races, where Kavat finished fourth in an impressive way, to replace his colleague Pierre Gasly, who qualified there, who retired due to an engine problem in the early laps.
Leclerc pushed Perez back to fifth, while the McLaren Sainz and Norris finished seventh and eighth.
Albon rolled it up as he was overtaken by Kviat at Villeneuve chicane and resumed 15th and last place – not what he needs when his seat is in danger for 2021.
what happened after that?
A two-week break before the Turkish Grand Prix, when Formula 1 returns to the circuit of Istanbul Park, a magnificent track with a famous high-speed triple summit with a left header that has hosted some exciting races.
What did they say
Hamilton: “It was a grueling race, and the speed we had to go after a bad start. It’s so overwhelming right now. I look at my crew and know all the men and women here and back at the factory and they are the unsung heroes.”
potash: “Think [the damage] It made a big impact today. It got off to a good start, and that was one of the main things to do today. I was doing my best to avoid crossing Max. I had to cross all my limits which led to some bugs. have Abad luck “.
Ricardo: “It was weird, I’m not sure what happened to Max, but that put us in a fight on the podium. [Team boss] Cyril [Abiteboul] You won’t get another tattoo though. ”