In a race marred with issues as Pierre Gasly took an unconventional win for Scuderia AlphaTauri. For the first time this year, no Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team or Aston Martin Red Bull Racing cars made it to the podium.
Instead the podium consisted of winner Pierre Gasly, second place Carlos Sainz Jr. and in third Lance Stroll, in what we can only describe as a mind blowing race.
The first lap brought the most drama a first corner has so far this year; Valtteri Bottas, who started second, had a poor start and over the course of the lap, found himself down to sixth.
Lando Norris, who started sixth, powered himself to third, behind team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr., Alexander Albon tangled with Pierre Gasly going into the first chicane, sending the Thai driver down to fifteenth. Kevin Magnussen picked up wing damage and had to pit, putting him to the back of the pack.
Sebastian Vettel became the first retirement of the day on lap six. The German driver reported brake issues and went straight through the bollards at turn one. He was able to drive his car back to the pits but was unable to continue.
Adding to Albons woe’s, he was given a five second time penalty for failing to leave a car width on track when overtaking Haas’s Romain Grosjean.
At this point it was all fairly calm, with the midfield pack following each other, up until lap twenty when Kevin Magnussen was forced to retire. He reported on his radio ‘something broke’. This brought out the safety car as the marshals pushed the car away from the entrance of the pit lane.
Antonio Giovinazzi and Lewis Hamilton pitted under the safety car however, the duo had both missed the boards that signalled that the pit lane was closed due to Magnussen’s cars.
While this was being investigated, racing resumed but on the same lap Charles Leclerc locked up at Parabolica, sliding heavily in to the tyre barriers, causing another safety car. Teams were able to pit this time but because of Leclerc’s crash, the tire wall was damaged, resulting in a red flag.
This completely changed up the grid with the top five being Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Räikkönen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Lance Stroll, who pitted during the red flag and Pierre Gasly, who pitted before the safety car. Hamilton and Giovinazzi were given a ten second stop-go penalty while session was red flagged.
The session restarted at 16:20 local time with a stationary restart from the grid. Hamilton took his stop-go penalty which put him last, meaning that he needed to charge through the pack to get into the points. Gasly and Sainz were able to overtake Stroll and Räikkönen to put them first and second respectively after the restart.
Max Verstappen became the next casualty of retirement. Verstappen’s team noticed an issued on his engine and took the difficult decision to retire him from the race before it failed.
Gasly was able to hold on to first position after pressure from Sainz Jr. in the dying laps of the race to take his first victory in Formula 1. Lance Stroll rounded out the podium places with a strong drive.
Fourth, fifth and sixth went to Lando Norris, Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo. The trio spent most of the second half of the race within a couple of seconds of each other, but no-one was able to take an opportunity to gain a higher position.
Hamilton managed to make up ground from the back of the pack, moving up from sixteenth to seventh place by the end of the race. The rest of the top ten consisted of Esteban Ocon in eighth, Daniil Kvyat in ninth and Sergio Perez in tenth.
Räikkönen couldn’t hold on to his earlier second place and found himself crossing the line out of the points at thirteenth by the time the chequered flag came out..
The Williams duo of George Russell and Nicholas Latifi would surely have wanted to say farewell to the Williams family with some points. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case with Latifi crossing the line in eleventh and Russell in fourteenth.
After defending Hamilton for a few laps, Albon was overtaken and could only get fifteenth after his five second time penalty was taken at the end.
The grid was completed by Grosjean in twelfth and Giovinazzi in sixteenth.
|1||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||53||36:39.174||25|
|2||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||McLaren F1 Team||53||+0.415s||18|
|3||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||BWT Racing Point Formula One Team||53||+3.358s||15|
|4||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||53||+6.000s||12|
|5||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||53||+7.108s||10|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Renault DP World F1 Team||53||+8.391s||8|
|7||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||53||+17.245s||7|
|8||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Renault DP World F1 Team||53||+18.691s||4|
|9||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||53||+22.208s||2|
|10||11||Sergio Pérez||MEX||BWT Racing Point Formula One Team||53||+23.224s||1|
|11||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||53||+32.876s||0|
|12||8||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Haas F1 Team||53||+35.164s||0|
|13||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing||53||+36.312s||0|
|14||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Racing||53||+36.593s||0|
|15||23||Alexander Albon||THA||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||53||+37.533s||0|
|16||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing||53||+55.199s||0|
|17||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||30||DNF||0|
|18||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||23||DNF||0|
|19||20||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||17||DNF||0|
|20||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Scuderia Ferrari||6||DNF||0|