Motor racing: Hamilton wins chaotic Tuscan Grand Prix, Albon grabs first podium

 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the Tuscan Grand Prix in Mugello, Italy, on Sept 13.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the Tuscan Grand Prix in Mugello, Italy, on Sept 13.Reuters
The crash resulted in Max Verstappen flying off into the gravel after a tangle with several midfield runners.
The crash resulted in Max Verstappen flying off into the gravel after a tangle with several midfield runners.PHOTO: REUTERS
Haas' Romain Grosjean (left) and Red Bull's Max Verstappen crashing out at the start of the Tuscan Grand Prix, on Sept 13, 2020.
Haas' Romain Grosjean (left) and Red Bull's Max Verstappen crashing out at the start of the Tuscan Grand Prix, on Sept 13, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

MUGELLO (REUTERS) - 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 on Sunday (Sept 13) that was twice stopped and re-started.

The six times world champion’s Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas completed the one-two for dominant Mercedes at the Ferrari-owned Mugello circuit in central Italy. 

Red Bull’s Thai driver Alexander Albon, whose team mate Max Verstappen retired in the gravel at the second corner, 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 struggling Italian 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 their 100th win in the modern era, are 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.

 

It was red-flagged again with 13 laps remaining when Canadian Lance Stroll crashed his Racing Point after an apparent puncture.

Frenchman Pierre Gasly, shock winner of last Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza for AlphaTauri, was among those involved in the first crash that also took out  Verstappen.

It was the second race in a row to be red-flagged.