Lewis Hamilton fought back from third place to take his ninth win of the year in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver lost second place to Max Verstappen at the start of the race, while team mate Valtteri Bottas held his lead from pole position.
However Hamilton ran long when Bottas and Verstappen made their pit stops, and pulled out just enough of a lead on his tyres to be able to take his pit stop and come out ahead of them. But when Esteban Ocon’s Renault broke down at the exit of Acqua Minerali, triggering a brief Virtual Safety Car, it ended any hope Bottas had of regaining his lead.
Bottas was losing time due to a badly damaged floor, to which a piece of Sebastian Vettel’s car had attached itself, and ran wide at Rivazza later in his second stint. That allowed Verstappen to pounce, taking second place.
But a sudden right-rear tyre failure a few laps later pitched him into the gravel trap at Villeneuve, sealing Mercedes’ seventh constructors’ championship at the same time.
That also triggered a Safety Car period, during which George Russell crashed out of a potential points finish on the approach to Acqua Minerali, while trying to generate heat in his tyres.
When the race resumed Hamilton easily kept his lead over Bottas, while Daniel Ricciardo held third as Renault decided against using the late interruption to make an extra pit stop – a gamble which paid off.
Red Bull’s misery deepened as Alexander Albon spun on his own after Sergio Perez overtook him. The AlphaTauri driver salvaged fourth place following his team mate’s retirement with a coolant leak, passing Charles Leclerc on the way.
Sergio Perez ran fourth but finished sixth after pitting under the Safety Car. He was followed by the two McLarens, led by Carlos Sainz Jnr, who passed Lando Norris early on but had to take avoiding action when Albon spun in front of him.
The Alfa Romeo pair claimed the final points places, while Nicholas Latifi was less than a second away from claiming his first point.
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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix reaction
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