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Mercedes Masterclass

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

Mercedes-AMG have truly been leagues above the rest of the pack, with Toto Wolff's constructor going from strength to strength almost each and every race. Conversely, Ferrari's season under Mattia Binotto has continued to spiral downhill.

The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa marked one year since the fatal death of F2 driver Anthoine Hubert. Prior to this year’s race there was a minute of silence in honour of the late French driver.

Mercedes picked up where they had left off in Barcelona by locking out the front row in qualifying at Spa.

The race itself was fairly straightforward for Lewis Hamilton, as the six-time World Driver's Champion led every lap and cruised to his fifth win of the season; he was trailed by teammate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull-Honda’s Max Verstappen.

Renault's Daniel Ricciardo finished in P4 and also recorded the fastest lap of the race.

The Ferrari cars finished the race in P13 & P14.

Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz Jr. did not start the race due to engine failure in his McLaren.

One week later, the Italian GP was no ordinary F1 race.

Ferrari failed to qualify a car in the top 10 at Monza for the first time since 1984, and their living nightmare worsened on raceday as they were dealt a massive blow in the form of a double DNF.

Mercedes qualified P1 & P2 for the seventh race out of eight.

The red flags came out shortly after Charles Leclerc retired from the race on lap 23. Hamilton received a stop-go penalty for pitting outside of the allotted pit window and he served his penalty after the race restart.

For the first time since the 2012 Hungarian GP, the podium did not feature a driver from any of Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull. It did, however, consist of a somewhat unusual trio but undoubtedly one that we will be seeing more of in years to come.

The race ended with a home victory, but it was not one for the red Prancing Horse; scenes of jubilation in the AlphaTauri paddock as Pierre Gasly claimed his first-ever race win and the team’s first victory since 2008, which also came at Monza.

Sainz and Lance Stroll (Racing Point) both earned their second-ever podium finishes; McLaren's Lando Norris finished P4 as the top 4 drivers, for a change, were separated by just six seconds. Bottas and Ricciardo claimed P5 and P6, respectively.

Hamilton finished in 7th place and set the fastest lap of the race.

Verstappen retired from the race on lap 30, due to loss of power.

In the days leading up to the inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix, it was announced that Sebastian Vettel will join Aston Martin next year, alongside Stroll.

The race marked Ferrari‘s 1000th Grand Prix and prior to the race 21-year-old Mick Schumacher drove his father Michael’s Ferrari F2004 car around the Mugello circuit.

Mugello, 75 miles south of the Ferrari team base in Maranello, became the 72nd unique track to be used in the sport’s history.

Mercedes locked out the front row of the grid for the seventh consecutive race. Red Bull occupied the second row, while Leclerc qualified P5 and Vettel 14th. This race was yet more bizarre than the previous, seven days prior. At race start, Bottas got off the line better than his teammate did, while Leclerc quickly moved up into P3. Soon after turn 1 there was a messy collision in the midfield, bringing premature ends to the race for both Gasly and Verstappen; this brought out the red safety car.

Following race resumption there was immediately another incident further back in the field which resulted in four more retirees, including Sainz; this meant that the top two drivers from the previous race were both out. The race was subsequently red flagged on lap 6 and only 13 cars remained at the restart.

Following Stroll’s accident, the red flags came out once more on lap 42. At the second standing restart, Hamilton reclaimed the lead which he held onto and earned his 90th race win. Bottas finished in P2 while Red Bull's Alex Albon achieved his first podium finish, becoming the first Thai driver to do so.

Ricciardo settled for 4th place ahead of Sergio Pérez (Racing Point) and Norris.

Both Ferrari cars finished inside the points for just the third time in 2020.

Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race.

The Russian GP saw the Mercedes cars separated in qualifying by Verstappen. Neither of the Ferrari drivers managed to reach final qualifying.

On the opening lap of the race, Sainz and Stroll were forced to retire in unrelated incidents. Hamilton received two 5-second penalties for conducting practice starts outside of the designated areas; the Briton served his penalties during his first pitstop.

Bottas did enough to earn his second race victory of the year and left Sochi with maximum points after lapping the fastest time; Verstappen and Hamilton completed the podium.

Leclerc scraped a sixth-placed finish, behind Pérez and Ricciardo.

At the Eifel GP in Germany, Bottas became polesitter for the third time this year, qualifying ahead of Hamilton, Verstappen and Leclerc.

Nico Hulkenberg once again deputised for Racing Point, filling in for Stroll who reportedly felt unwell ahead of qualifying.

There were four retirements between laps 18-25 of the 60-lap race, as George Russell (Williams), Bottas, Esteban Ocon (Renault), and Albon all succumbed to various problems. Norris‘ McLaren battled power issues for a large chunk of the race and the young Brit eventually retired on lap 45, which effectively brought out the safety car.

Hamilton took the chequered flag for a record-equalling 91st time, tying the legendary Michael Schumacher. Verstappen claimed P2 while Ricciardo earned Renault’s first podium since 2011.

Perez finished P4, followed by Sainz, Gasly, Leclerc, and Hulkenberg.

Fastest lap time went to Verstappen.

The race at Nürburgring signified another esteemed milestone as it marked 323 race starts for veteran Kimi Räikkönen, as the 40-year-old Finn surpassed Rubens Barichello's all-time record. Räikkönen finished the race in P12.

With six races remaining, Hamilton holds a 69-point lead over Bottas.

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