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September 14, 2020

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Hamilton takes 90th win at Tuscan GP

Lewis Hamilton celebrated the 90th win of his Formula One career, one short of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record, after a crazy crash-strewn Tuscan Grand Prix yesterday that was twice stopped and re-started.

The six-time world champion’s Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas completed the Mercedes one-two at the Ferrari-owned Mugello circuit in central Italy.

Red Bull’s British-born Thai driver Alexander Albon, whose Dutch teammate Max Verstappen retired in the gravel after a second corner collision, took third place for his first career F1 podium.

“It was all a bit of a daze. It was like three races in one day,” gasped Hamilton, who finished 4.880 seconds clear of Bottas for a record 222nd points finish in a race with three standing starts.

“All those restarts, the focus that’s needed during that time, it’s really, really hard,” he said.

The race was Ferrari’s 1,000th championship grand prix but the best the sport’s most successful team could manage was eighth for Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton’s sixth win in nine races this season sent him 55 points clear of Bottas, with eight rounds remaining, and the Briton also took an extra point for fastest lap.

Mercedes, celebrating its 100th win in the modern era, is now 152 points clear of second-placed Red Bull in the constructors’ standings.

The race was first stopped eight laps in after a mass-collision among backmarkers when the safety car, deployed at the end of the opening lap, headed back into the pits.

A second red flag late on following heavy crash by Racing Point’s Lance Stroll meant another grid restart — on Lap 46 of 59 — and gave Bottas another chance to beat race leader Hamilton if he made a strong start from second.

Hamilton held firm and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo overtook Bottas, who passed him back to finish second.

Bottas pushed hard and got to within 1.1 seconds of Hamilton on the penultimate lap but the British driver clocked a fastest lap on the last one to take a bonus point.

Albon drove well to finish third and clinch a first career podium that will boost his chances of keeping his seat alongside team star Verstappen next year.

Hamilton can equal Schumacher’s record for wins at the Russian GP in two weeks and take a step closer to matching the German’s record of seven titles.




 

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