Race results. F1 Emila Romagna GP.
F1 Constructors’ World Championship: Mercedes champion in Imola
One hundred victories and two hundred games in the hybrid era for Mercedes, which today in Imola celebrates its seventh consecutive title between the Constructors thanks to the double of Hamilton and Bottas.
Mercedes won their seventh consecutive constructors’ title in Imola, breaking Ferrari’s six-man record between 1999 and 2004. An epic result, celebrated by the team principal of the team, Toto Wolff, at the end of the race, in the interview given to Paul Di Resta.
“I don’t like to talk about numbers but this result is really something to be proud of – wolff pointed out – we have a group that works together fantastically, we are very united and we try to push the bar higher and higher, achieving better and better results. This is really something we’re very proud of. We must maintain the motivation and energy that we continue to see in our group and we therefore think we can go even further. We will certainly have strong opponents with max and Honda who will want to close at their best, we expect a great challenge. Valtteri hit a piece of Ferrari or Racing Point on the second lap, tried to avoid it but couldn’t do it and ended up under his car.”
Hamilton: “I don’t know if I’ll be here in 2021”
“I’ve been here a long time. I can definitely understand the desire to take a step back and give more time to the family. I don’t know who could replace Wolff, he’s a leader. He will never call anyone who cannot replace him: he has always given everyone the chance to shine for their abilities and will continue in this case too. But anyway it won’t have any influence on my decision: I don’t even know if I’ll be here next year, so at the moment Wolff’s decision doesn’t bother me. As I’ve always said, it’s not just one person, it’s one team. The machine doesn’t build Toto, but the team. Personally I feel great, I am very strong and I think it can go on for quite a while. I would like to be there in the future too, but there are no guarantees. Let’s wait and see”
Wolff holds Hamilton back: “I don’t think he’s leaving”
“I think if Hamilton decided to leave Formula 1 then the drivers’ market would be hectic! But I don’t think it happens, or at least I hope so. I think he said those things for everything that’s happening in the world around the paddock. These are phrases dictated by a thousand emotions: we are all happy, but also very tired and the same goes for me. We all try to bring some fun into the homes of families, but we see the difficulties of the world out there: it’s something that concerns us. And from this point of view it is normal for an empathic person like Lewis to have these feelings.”
Danger in Imola
The FIA will have to review what happened in Imola shortly before the safety car’s return to the pits caused by the Max Verstappen accident. During the neutralization period, George Russell lost control of his Williams and ended up on the wall just before the Mineral Waters, with commissioners being called to extra work to clean up that stretch of track as well.
While race management gave the green light to the six voiced to overtake the safety car and settle back into the group, three marshalls were still on the roadway to clear the last remaining debris. The first four drivers – Kimi Raikkonen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Nicholas Latifi and Romain Grosjean – faced the stretch together while still waving the double yellow flags, with the Haas French promptly reporting the danger situation by radio.
What they said.
Valtteri Bottas :
“Today I was unlucky. I had started well, one of the few things that went well. In turn 7 there was a detritus on the second lap and I couldn’t avoid it. I saw him, but he ended up right in the middle of the car. I tried not to take it with the tires, but there was still a damage that made the race very complicated for me. It was impossible for me to prevent Max from overrun me. I tried to push the line and that led me to make mistakes. I was unlucky.”
“Race was exhausting after a bad start. This is a heart-warming moment. I see my team, all the guys I know very well, I know how much they work in the factory, who are the real heroes who can’t be celebrated enough. They never give up, they keep working, pushing, innovating. Those who look at us may think we’re used to it, but the spirit of this team is really great and I’m really grateful to be part of such a spirit and make a record like this that no one had ever achieved. I thank Mercedes and all our partners. 7 titles? Amazing. Coming back here year after year is not easy. Even when you have great performance it is not obvious to repeat them all the time. Here everyone is always precise in every aspect of the preparation of the machine and every weekend they repeat everything with absolute perfection”.
“Glass half full? Yes, in the sense that we were looking for consistency on the race pace after Portimao and we got it – explained the boss of the red wall at the end of the race to the microphones of Sky Sport F1 – moreover in a completely different track from what Was Portimao, with compounds that were similar to those of Germany. With the soft we did not suffer from graining and degradation. That’s the good part, we had a good pace in the race. Charles with the softs probably could have gone stronger than Ricciardo. The pace was good and that’s what we were looking for. Too bad for yesterday’s qualification.”
“I would have signed for fifth place – said Charles Leclerc at the end of the race – we had many question marks at the beginning of the race about the durability of the soft tires and instead we did well, to the point that I do not know why we stopped so early, I still had some. Anyway we are progressing, the news to the car gave good answers and it was good to see that the softs were lasting so well in the first stint. There is still a long way to go, the Mercedes are still a long way off, but even today in the race we have been more performing than in qualifying and if we had started a forward row that escaped us for a tenth we could have achieved an even better result. In the final Ricciardo managed to start better, I made more effort with the same hard tires behind him”.
“We started with middle school and it was the right choice – explained the German champion to the microphones of Sky Sport F1 at the end of the day – the averages held up very well, the pace was good in the first stint. But we wasted time at the pit stop and of course it was a shame. After that we were out of the stitches and tried to recover with the soft tires at the end [with the entrance of the Safety Car], but here it was very difficult to overcome even with soft tires. It was not the result we wanted and probably deserved today, but in the race the sensations seemed much better”.
“In terms of sensations, it had already gone better yesterday. The race pace was never really a real problem. So far he’s been more in qualifying than I’ve struggled to feel the car. We need to stay patient, even if it’s painful, and look for those little steps that we can take. Yesterday in qualifying already looking at the numbers it went a little better than the previous sessions – agreed Vettel – we missed the Q3 by two tenths. The main thing is to continue to make progress. No doubt when you start behind the race it’s harder.”
“Bizarre race. I moved to fourth place after the start. It was the best he could get with those three in front. But then Perez also had a great pace, he had passed me after the pits. Then he came in to make the stop, we stayed on the track and walked past. I don’t know what happened to Max, but that put us in a fight for the podium. Kvyat came out of nowhere in the last few laps, I don’t know what happened. Two games in three races, it’s very nice. It all happened in the end, but it was fun. Cyril’s second tattoo? No he said ‘congratulations on the podium but another tattoo I don’t’t’. It’s hard to get through here, but the circuit is really great.”
Despite the extension from the rivazza exit to the detached Tamburello without the Lower Variant, overtaking in Imola proved quite complicated even in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The strategies, therefore, were of fundamental importance and the race was divided between those who attempted an undercut anticipating the pit stop and those who instead decided to stretch the first race stint as much as possible to overdo it through an overcut who had stopped after a few rounds. Max Verstappen stopped first in the top three and Valtteri Bottas was forced to ‘respond’. Charles Leclerc, on the other hand, tried to outdo Daniel Ricciardo without success as the Renault driver was promptly called back to the pits in the next round.
The one who made the most of the overcut was Sergio Perez, who despite not having centered the Q3 was fourth in the race thanks to a perfect pace and strategy. Verstappen‘s k.o., then, had promoted Perez even on the podium, which would have been the first of the season for Checo if the Racing Point wall had not invented an extra stop on the occasion of the Safety Car that gave the podium to Daniel Ricciardo. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were also among the overcut artists yesterday. Raikkonen finished the race in third place and the Ferrari German would have deserved even better if it were not for the fact that his pit stop before the Safety Car turned out to be eternal for a problem in replacing the right front.
At the end of the race by radio Sebastian Vettel wanted to console his men in the usual message addressed to his track engineer Riccardo Adami, in particular probably the mechanic (Claudio Bersini) used as that wheel:
“I could not do much in the final, I was rather blocked by traffic. I found it. The race was good before the pit stop. But don’t worry. Thanks to Claudio. Thank you for a lot of years, you’re a gentleman.”
Race results. Our marks to the drivers.
C. Leclerc: Ferrari’s progress has not been confirmed by the race times, in which the SF1000 continues to make up for a second of the lap. He, however, always pulls out the best with what he has in his hand.. Final Mark: 6.5/10.
L. Hamilton: The strategy with which he recovers the time lost on Bottas and Verstappen is excellent, the pace fantastic, but not even this time an overtaking on the track … The half point less is for minimizing his teammate’s lap on Saturday, a small drop in style on another winning weekend. Final Mark: 7.5/10.
V. Bottas: He blows the pole at Hamilton and then the race is ruined (and lost) on lap 2. He turns to the end with a piece of Vettel’s Ferrari forward stuck in the car, we challenge anyone to do better in that condition. Final Mark: 6.5/10.
S. Vettel: He works to remedy yet another disastrous qualification and partially makes it to the pit that destroys a rather safe point finish. Even when things turn out well, something’s wrong. Four more races to end the nightmare. Final Mark: 5.5/10.
M. Verstappen: He would have quietly finished in second place if, this time, he had not been betrayed by an exploded rubber. When he gets to the finish line he is always in the top three, with a Red Bull who can only rely on him. Final Mark: 7/10.
D. Ricciardo: Second podium in three races with a Renault that many gave almost to disperse a year ago. The pick-ups in front help but he is ready to seize the opportunities. And finally smile again.. Final Mark: 7.5/10.