KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - The beat goes on for Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in the Emilia Romagna GP in Round 13 of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship hosted at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola.
Hamilton won the race by a margin of more than five seconds with teammate Valtteri Bottas finishing second, and Daniel Ricciardo finishing third. It is Lewis Hamilton’s 93rd F1 victory.
Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen rounded out the day with a 12th and a DNF, respectively.
“A somewhat frustrating Sunday afternoon, but nothing goes our way it looks like at the moment – not just the moment, it’s been a while actually, said Team Principal Guenther Steiner. "Kevin (Magnussen) getting together with Sebastian (Vettel) at turn seven, well that put him in a place where there’s not a lot to do. But he caught up pretty well in the end. He then had the gearbox issue which we had since after qualifying, but we were not allowed by the FIA to change the sensors without penalty – so that went against us. Romain (Grosjean), well if you start from those positions, you’re just always in dirty air and in trouble with other cars, it’s just always very busy there. We tried different strategies, we at least tried to play, but we couldn’t get them playing as things happened too quick. In the end it was a long frustrating afternoon. There are four more races to go so there’s four more opportunities to score points.”
Grosjean lined up from 16th spot on Pirelli’s P Zero Yellow medium tires and on a frantic first lap lost out, slipping to17th position, and came in on lap 10 of 63 to change to the White hard tires. A safety car period, caused when Max Verstappen suffered a high-speed failure, bunched the pack and Grosjean came in on lap 51 to take on a set of Red soft tires for the short blast to the finish. Grosjean rose to 12th but was unfortunately handed a five-second time penalty that dropped him to 14th.
“It was a long afternoon," Grosjean said. "We tried and we pushed hard, but we were lacking pace and straight-line speed, so there wasn’t really a chance. I thought we might have had a chance after the safety car, but we were losing too much on the straight – I really struggled with that. It’s a good track, we’ve had fun, now it’s on to the next one.”
Magnussen started from 17th on the grid on medium tires but his prospects were thwarted straight away as he was caught up in an incident. As Magnussen rounded the left-hander of Tosa he was tipped into a spin by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and dropped to the rear of the field. Magnussen persevered and rose as high as eighth through the pit stop phase before he too came in for fresh rubber, taking on hard tires on lap 28. Magnussen continued to circulate before the team opted to retire him on lap 48 with a gearbox issue.
“We had a problem with the gearbox – we had it yesterday as well on my fastest lap in qualifying," magnussen said. "The problem came back in the race, it was there from the first lap. I was having slow up-shifts, and not only are they slow, it’s also like a big bang every time you up-shift. It seems ok for a couple of laps but then it starts shaking your head crazily. By the end I just had a massive headache - I told the team. I think they felt there was nothing to fight for, so they boxed me. I mean, I was spun around at the start and that was really the end of it. I lost so much time getting back on track. The pace was really good actually, it was better than we had expected – even with the up-shifts that were costing us around half a second a lap.”
Round 14 of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship is the Turkish Grand Prix hosted at the Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey. Practice – Friday November 13. Qualifying – Saturday November 14. Race – Sunday November 15.
Haas F1 Team contributed to this story.