Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Hamilton has most penalty points of any driver after Austrian Grand Prix

2020 Austrian Grand Prix stats and facts

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Lewis Hamilton has the most penalty points of any driver in Formula 1 after round one of 2020, following his unusually incident-filled Austrian Grand Prix.

The stewards only awarded four penalty points last weekend, but all of them went to the six-times world champion, who now has a total of seven. This is unusual for Hamilton, who in June last year scored his first penalty point for more than two years.

He is now over halfway towards 12, which would result in an automatic one-race ban. Penalty points remain on drivers’ licences for a 12-month period. Hamilton will drop one point on July 28th, ahead of the British Grand Prix.

However he will have at least six points on his licence until mid-November. It’s not a crisis situation, but with F1 in an unprecedented run of eight races in 10 weeks, and likely more to follow soon, he certainly can’t afford many more weekends like his last one.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2020
Bottas won the season-opener for the second year running
For the second year in a row, Valtteri Bottas won the season-opening race, and this time did so from pole position. His eighth career win puts him level with Max Verstappen, as well as Jacky Ickx and Denny Hulme, and 12th pole means he now has as many as Gerhard Berger and David Coulthard. Bottas led the race from start to finish, the first time he has done so in his F1 career.

At this race 12 months ago Charles Leclerc was decidedly unhappy about finishing second, having led 59 of the 71 laps. He described the same result this year as one of his best performances in F1, having fought his way up from seventh in a Ferrari which is clearly much less competitive than its predecessor.

Lando Norris grabbed the final spot on the podium. His first visit to the rostrum was McLaren’s second in three races (though team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr didn’t get to take part in the official podium ceremony in last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix) and makes the 19-year-old the third-youngest driver to finish in the top three after record-holder Verstappen and Lance Stroll.

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Norris also set the first fastest lap of his F1 career, on the final lap of the race, which helped ensure he finished within five seconds of Hamilton and therefore claim third place following the Mercedes driver’s penalty. This the same circumstances in which Sainz scored his podium in Brazil last year, right down to the fact Hamilton was penalised for a collision with Alexander Albon.

Zak Brown, Lando Norris, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2020
Norris is the third-youngest driver to stand on the podium
This was the first fastest lap for McLaren since the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix, and only their third during the V6 hybrid turbo era.

Another Hamilton penalty, following qualifying, promoted Norris to third on the grid. This was the highest starting position for a McLaren since Jenson Button in the same race four years earlier.

Only 13 drivers were classified yesterday, an unusually low number by modern F1 standards. It’s the lowest number since 12 cars were classified at Singapore in 2017.

The Formula 1 season made its latest-ever start on July 5th, more than a month later than the previous record, set when the 1951 season began on May 27th. Austria held the first season-opener in Europe since the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix: Since then, every championship has begun in Australia, Bahrain, the USA, Brazil, Argentina or South Africa.

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Damon Hill, Williams, Albert Park, Melbourne, 1996
Hill won consecutive races in Australia
The 217-day wait between the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year and Sunday’s race is the third-longest gap between consecutive rounds in the world championship’s history. The longest occured in between the first two seasons 70 years ago, and lasted 266 days.

The championship now moves on to… the Red Bull Ring. In a first for the world championship, it is holding two races at the same venue in a single season.

Having two races in the same country consecutively is not a first but it is rare. It is therefore highly unusual that the last two times it happened were on consecutive occasions.

F1 held back-to-back races in Japan in 1995, then moved on to Australia for the season finale, and began 1996 in the same country. This was because Japan’s Pacific Grand Prix was postponed due to an earthquake and the Australia round changed from being a season finale in Adelaide to a season-opener in Melbourne between championships.

Both of those races in Australia were won by Damon Hill. Let’s see if Bottas can repeat the feat…

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Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Austrian Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

2020 Austrian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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65 comments on “Hamilton has most penalty points of any driver after Austrian Grand Prix”

  1. RBR were the cause of all of these penalty points for Lewis.

    Mercedes just needs to stay away from them, which they will do, being properly ahead.

  2. Like a true champion, ahead in everything !!!!
    Or the beginning to break under pressure !!!

    1. Under what pressure @trindade. This is Hamiltons 13th season in F1 and he’s a 6 time Champion! He’s hardly a new racer with something to prove or have his job on the line. He’s been beaten before and will be again. Every driver has lost a race at some point and made mistakes. To be honest his weekend wasn’t even that bad. He lead every practice session making little to no mistakes and missed out on pole by 0.012 seconds. Yes he made a mistake in qualifying which got him a penalty (although you’d have to say Bottas made the bigger one) He drove a really solid race to catch back up to Bottas before an ambitious move by Albon put him in an awkward position. The 5 seconds was probably fair but it was hardly a massive mistake. Vettel’s was much worse as were several other drivers.

      1. @trindade

        A bad weekend yes, but not crushing. He made a couple mistakes both of which were minor and understandable. The yellow flag infringement was a slpit second mistake; I suspect only about half the grid would have faired better. When you need multiple replays to resolve what happened it probably isn’t an indication of a failure in form.

        Same with the incident involving Albon. Sure he ended up with a penalty, but it wasn’t something crazy. Just the kind of thing that happens when you’re racing. I would argue it wasn’t near as bad as the hopeless dive he made when he crashed albon out in Brazil.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          6th July 2020, 18:15

          To be fair he made another mistake in qualifying by exceeding track limits therefore his first time didn’t get counted. Therefore he benifitted by breaking the rules and getting a penalty as if he didn’t do this, he would have had to back off and would have qualified 8th.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX-EOReIyFw&app=desktop

          Hamilton also gained a lot of time on Bottas at some point in the race under yellow flags which for some reason didn’t get investigated.

          Hamilton had his usual mighty speed this weekend, but the level of mistakes or breaking the rules was a poor show from him really.

          1. Thank you, Ben Rowe.
            Someone who seems to have seen what I saw.

          2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            6th July 2020, 19:14

            @trindade
            Looking into this in more detail and watching the highlights with the timing screens, this was on lap 69. Hamilton gained 2 seconds on Bottas in the sector with double waved yellow flags! And from the onboard, Hamilton is giving it everything, so it isn’t Bottas going slow.

            I personally think this is cheating as Hamilton knows he has a penalty coming his way and he will have been trying to make close the gap or prevent the gap between him and norris getting too narrow – which he very nearly did.

            But how did this not get investigated?

            I respect Hamilton’s speed, but the amount of rule breaks (some not even punished) by him this weekend is very poor indeed.

  3. Good thing is we don’t have to wait a lot to see how he’ll bounce back from what was a below par weekend by his own standards.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      6th July 2020, 15:09

      I think Lewis would have won yesterday starting from P2 and won from P5 without a safety car. He was closing the gap to Bottas. Whether the Mercedes chassis is capable of mounting an overtake on another Mercedes on same tires is another story, though. I guess we would have found out yesterday although it did seem that the trailing Merc was in dire straits when they got close together.

      That’s probably been the most disappointing aspect of the Mercs over the last few seasons. It’s really hampered Lewis from overtaking as the car seems to be very dependent on aero.

  4. Fewest finishes since Australia 2015 (11 cars) Interestingly the last time there was multiple point scorers that didn’t finish the race was Australia 2008 But points was still awarded for seventh and eighth as they done enough laps to be classified. Last time except USA 2005 that there was so few finishers that points weren’t awarded to some cars was Detroit 1984. Yesterday was the closest race to achieve and that since then.

    I don’t think there has been a race where to Canadians finished in the points. (Correct me if I’m wrong on that)

  5. I’ve been critical of both his attitude and his communication style over the years but that doesn’t change the fact that Hamilton is (IMO) the best driver on the grid.

    I think the one positive for Bottas is that this is likely to be a shorter season. If he was to win the next race and Hamilton has more problems (or DNFs) then suddenly Valtteri would feel it was his to win.

    2020 has the makings of an exciting season!

    My Championship prediction, for what it’s worth:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Bottas
    3. Verstappen
    4. Leclerc
    5. Albon

    1. On yesterday’s showing I’d have albon ahead of leclerc – he really could have won if he’d managed his pass on hamilton a little better (I think both were unlucky).

      1. Well one thing’s for sure, whoever is ‘Champion’s’ going to get untold flack that it’s tainted.
        Nowadays 8 races (asterisk) does not make Championship.
        They should just have fun and RACE, no team orders, give the fans a show.

        I will now go stand in a corner..

        1. @budchekov I completely agree. I’ve said for a while now that the races would be better without an overall Championship. At the end of the season we always get drivers and teams playing it safe which means we miss out on some great races. Make the prize money for each individual event and some of the smaller teams might even invest in a different set up to be in with the shot at a win at a specific track. If each event was standalone with no bigger prize to play for I think we’d see much better and harder racing up and down the grid all season long.

        2. If there are only eight races, there will not be a world championship this year. In theory F1 requires a minimum of eight races to count as a championship, but the FIA also requires races on three continents and all eight scheduled so far are in Europe. So in practice the minimum is ten.

          1. @Ilanin no, in practice the minimum is eight since the FIA have this handy exception rule for the requirement to race on three continents:

            2.4.3.c The FIA may exceptionally grant a waiver for a cup,

            trophy, challenge or series which can show long-established

            use of the word “World”.

            8 races and the FIA can safely call it a valid world championship as per their own rules.

    2. @sonnycrockett I think Ferrari are in worse shape that that, regardless of how good Leclerc is. Unless they pull a rabbit out of the hat with their first aero update I don’t think I’d put him in the top 5. Just for fun. I’ll predict:

      1) Hamilton
      2) Bottas
      3) Verstappen
      4 Albon
      5) Perez

      And if not Perez for 5th I’d go with Norris then Sainz before Leclerc. I could be wildly off though aboviously.

  6. – Valtteri Bottas beat teammate Lewis Hamilton to pole by 0.012s, which is the smallest pole margin in Austrian GP history.
    – Sergio Perez’s best grid position since last season’s Azerbaijan GP, 18 races ago.
    – Lance Stroll made a rare appearance in Q3. His only previous visits to Q3 in the last 54 GPs all came in Monza.
    – For the first time since he joined Ferrari in 2015, Sebastian Vettel failed to make it into Q2 on pace alone. All his other failures to advance were caused by mechanical issues. The German only failed to reach the top 10 once last year, in Hockenheim.
    – George Russell failed at reaching Q2 by just 0.073s – in the first race of 2019, he was 1.3s off making it through, showing how far Williams have come.
    – Alfa Romeo picked up where they left off in 2019, with both cars going out in Q1 – as at last year’s curtain closer in Abu Dhabi.
    – For the first time in 241 races, Seb finished 10th in a race.
    – Lewis Hamilton, for the first time since the 2014 season-opener, isn’t the highest-placed British driver in the world championship, and failed to finish on the podium for the fourth consecutive year in Austria.
    – In 8th place, Esteban Ocon scored points on his F1 return and the first points for a Renault at Red Bull Ring since 2003.
    – By finishing 7th, Pierre Gasly gave AlphaTauri points on their debut under their new team name. Coincidentally he took the same position in last year’s Austrian GP for sister team Red Bull.
    – Checo tied his career-best Austrian GP finish, having been sixth in 2014.
    – Antonio Giovinazzi scored points in Austria for the second year in a row by finishing 9th.
    – Williams rookie Nicholas Latifi was the last man to reach the chequered flag by finishing 11th, tying teammate George Russell’s best career result on his debut.
    – There were zero retirements in the 2019 Austrian GP. In this year’s there were a total of nine non-finishers.
    – Mercedes’ 65th front-row lockout ties Ferrari’s record, and it’s their first since last season’s British GP, and it came on the anniversary of the Silver Arrows finishing one-two in their F1 debut in France in 1954.
    By achieving pole position, Bottas joined Niki Lauda, Rene Arnoux, and Nelson Piquet as a three-time Austrian pole winner. The Finn doesn’t have more than one pole at any other circuit.

    1. What a great collection!! Especially these 2:

      Lewis Hamilton failed to finish on the podium for the fourth consecutive year in Austria.
      Esteban Ocon scored first points for a Renault at Red Bull Ring since 2003.

      I always thought Interlagos was a bogey circuit for Lewis. Looks like Red Bull Ring will trump it.

    2. I love this kind of stuff.

      Thank you Jere :)

    3. The front row lockout one can be scratched off for at least another week. Verstappen definitely started on the front row!

  7. Fewest finishers since Australia 2015 (11 cars) Interestingly the last time there was multiple point scorers that didn’t finish the race was Australia 2008 But points was still awarded for seventh and eighth as they done enough laps to be classified. Last time except USA 2005 that there was so few finishers that points weren’t awarded to some cars was Detroit 1984. Yesterday was the closest race to achieve that since then.

    Last time championship started in Europe was Monaco 1966 which also had a low number of finishers (4 classified)

    I don’t think there has been a race where to Canadians finished in the points. (Correct me if I’m wrong on that)

    1. Cucamest (@kevincucamest)
      6th July 2020, 14:20

      You’re right, there has never been a race with two Canadians in the points. In fact, last time there was more than one Canadian in a GP was the 1969 Canadian GP.

  8. The fastest lap for this and last year’s Austrian Grands Prix were identical to the thousandth of a second. Can’t imagine that happens often!

    1. Best stat of the day!

  9. I was bored so decided to look up the remaining back-to-back (championship) races held in the same country:
    – 1957: Pescara GP and Italian GP (Monza)
    – 1980-1981: US GP (Watkins Glen) and USA West (Long Beach)
    – 1984: Detroit and Dallas
    and the two pairs mentioned in the article.

    And another random bit: with the point for the fastest lap going to Norris and Bottas winning the race, we are once again in a season where a driver is unable to score the maximum number of points available (so even if Bottas went on to win all the remaining races and scores fastest lap in all of them, he would be one short of the perfect score).

  10. I thought Hamilton was mr. Clean racer?

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      6th July 2020, 14:01

      Well he is but there’s a guy taking Racing 101 in one of the Red Bulls. For some reason, the Red Bull drivers use the races to learn how to drive :-)

      1. Agreed.
        Albon was clearly within his rights to attempt (and make) the pass on the outside, but that was a really silly way to do it.
        You just knew there was a strong potential to get sch-mucked by the car on the inside.
        He may not have deserved it, but he set up the situation himself. I can’t imagine many other drivers would have done it quite that way.
        Go in wide, cut the corner and make the pass on the exit, the straight or the next corner. Great watching some of the more seasoned drivers setting up a pass 2 or 3 corners before it actually happens. Kimi, Riciardo and Lewis o course.
        From my armchair, this all looks really easy.

  11. Jose Lopes da Silva
    6th July 2020, 14:05

    @dieter and @keithcollantine, it’s time to investigate the pandemic effect on the level of mechanical retirements. When was the last time we had such a high rate?

  12. * For the first time since 1969 there were two Canadian drivers starting in same Grand Prix. It was also the first time as this happened outside Canada. 1969 Canadian Grand Prix had Bill Brack, John Cordts and Al Pease while two years earlier there had been Pease and Eppie Wietzes. After that George Eaton, John Cannon, Brack, Wietzes, Gilles Villeneuve, Allen Berg, Jacques Villeneuve and Lance Stroll had started Grands Prix but never two of them together.

    * At least for now Bottas is third non-champion to win season-opening race twice, joining Stirling Moss and David Coulthard.

    * Excluding Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris’s podium was first for British driver since Australian GP 2014 and first one driver really was on the podium since Brazilian GP 2012 (since in Australia Button was awarded 3rd after Ricciardo’s disqualification).

    * Red Bull Ring became first circuit where Valtteri Bottas has won twice.

  13. Hamilton really chose the best season ever to messing around with politics and switch focus from his job.
    After all, this could handle a sweet sweet chance to Bottas.

    1. Why this season? Hes been involved in childrens charities worldwide since the start of his F1 career, homeless charities since 2010, bame issues since 2016, military charities 2016, education with emphasis on STEM since 2018. Commission and UN Global Goal 4 recently. Plus fashion and music throughout.
      As for this year the Commission wont need him, just his money. (until the sponsorship starts to roll in) . And the BLM issues will die down soon once everyone has done the march, got the button, made enough racist comments, etc. Meanwhile the Hamiltons and Mercedes of this world will get on with their boring 5 to 10 year strategies which wont excite to many people or generate too many headlines.

  14. He is a danger to himself and everyone around him!
    Why are these armatures aloud to risk the rest of the feild threw there own incontinence!
    Get on the phone to Maldonaldo and let’s see some real fear on that grid I say.

    p.s. Come on Lewis – time to shine ;)

  15. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    6th July 2020, 16:04

    Really? what happened to the Haas drivers? or Vettel? or Verstappen?
    Oh well….

    Grosjean’s no fun when he’s only taking himself out

  16. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    6th July 2020, 16:11

    Looking at these points should show people that give Grosjean no end of criticism that he really wasn’t that bad last year. His lack of track time and people remembering what he was like the year before and the odd silly mistake in practice is what people remember him by. Practice is not what matters. Hass has been terrible for quite some time now and for the ability of the car, neither of the drivers have done that bad. If you look at the penalty points, other very much respected drivers have made more mistakes.

  17. Lewisham Milton
    6th July 2020, 16:40

    What’s the point of penalty points? Has anyone ever got close to a race ban from them?!

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      6th July 2020, 18:25

      What is the point of them? The reason they are there is that once a driver gets to the limit which is 12, they will get race ban. Don’t you see this is likely to make drivers limit what they may try and do as no driver will want a ban.

      The highest drivers ever got over a season was Verstappen and Maldonado both in 2015 with 8. Given that the points get dropped 12 months after drivers receive them, 7 is a very large amount for Hamilton to have, especially since there has been such a large gap between seasons.

      I’m not sure of the record or the total a driver has held at one time, but Vettel was up to 9 at one point which was regarded very bad indeed. Hamilton isn’t far off that.

      1. I think Grosjean had 10 in late 2018. He had couple of incidents late 2017 like collision with Ocon in Brazil which were then wiped out before the end of the year so might have had seven that year.

      2. @thegianthogweed @bleu

        My recollection in recent years was that Vettel and Grosjean had both got to within 2-3 points of a race ban. I’m pretty sure at least one of them was further penalised for an incident while on that total, but the stewards chose not to give penalty points on that occasion. I have a feeling stewards will try to avoid giving points if it would cause a ban, just to avoid controversy (even though this defeats the purpose of the points system).

        1. Indeed, imo they are pointless, first of all a race ban isn’t that bad in recent years, there’s too much margin between hamilton and non-mercedes drivers, and 2nd there’s never been a race lost due to penalty points, hence too low chance it occurs.

          1. And by the margin I mean there are a few drivers who could compete with hamilton in equal machinery, like verstappen, leclerc, there was alonso but gone, maybe russel, the others are still unproven to that level, as long as mercedes remains clearly the superior car, since hamilton is a complete driver, unless you give him actual competition in the same car losing a race will make no change.

  18. Hamilton’s apex and exit never wavered. He was run into by a passing car already in trouble by attempting the miracle dream pass of all time on the outside. He created the situation that involved Hamilton.
    It’s obvious.

      1. +1 More.
        Armchair dyslexics untie.

  19. This is the first time since Melbourne 2014 that Lewis Hamilton has been outside the top three in the championship.

    It is also the first time since Melbourne 2014 that a McLaren driver has been in the top three in the championship.

    McLaren and Ferrari are the two most successful teams in history, but this is the first race since Brazil 2012 that a Ferrari driver and a McLaren driver have been on the podium together.

    1. True, this is largely cause of mclaren’s loss of competitive edge since then, since brazil 2012 is also their last win (on merit but also not on merit), and the few occasions mclaren was on the podium since then, I remember occasions in 2014 and 2019, there could be more ofc, ferrari messed up something.

  20. And neither penalty justified.
    Who knows, maybe brave Red Bull and Max will be able to finally win this year if they can keep Hamilton off the track.

    1. Not with this reliability.

      1. If you don’t have reliability you need to make up with speed, and the fact fast 2005 mclaren couldn’t compete at a championship level with slower 2005 reliable renault should say enough about what happens when you don’t have reliability, this red bull is still most likely the 2nd best car but can’t compete with mercedes if you’re also slower.

  21. Weird stat on McLaren podiums – The last mclaren driver to place in a podium place on the road and recieve the trophy for the posistion they were in on the classified results and keep that posistion in the final classified results was Jenson Button winning the 2012 Brazilian grand prix. Since then they have been classified on the podium 4 times, all of which have involved some sort of penalty promoting their drivers
    2014 Australia Kevin Magnusson finished 3rd on the road, collected trophy for third, upgraded to second after Danny Ric was thrown out & Jenson Button finished fourth on the road, didn’t go to podium and was upgraded to third after Danny Ric dq
    2019 Brazil Carlos Sainz jnr 4th on the road, upgraded to third once Lewis got a penalty, didn’t receive trophy till later on though.
    2020 Austria Lando finishes 4th on the road, upgraded to third in time to collect his trophy at least this time!

    1. True, interesting one!

  22. The last Ferrari driver to start 7th and finish 2nd is Fernando Alonso and that was in the 2013 Singapore GP. Leclerc’s opportunism in this race and driving that truck of a car to the podium was pure Alonso-esque.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      6th July 2020, 21:51

      Some of these statistics are getting a bit random now. The last time a Ferrari driver got from 20th to 2nd was germany last year. And to be honest, even though this drive was by vettel, that was IMO one of the very best drives by any driver in the past few years. Although admittedly these are rare from Vettel now.

      But you could come up with all sorts of random statistics.

      Stroll’s drive in baku 2017 was similar to Leclerc here, he didn’t have a great car but kept out of trouble and did some impressive overtakes, but also benefited heavily from chaos around him plus safety cars. Leclerc’s drive was solid, and worthy of a star performer this weekend, but I don’t think it was that amazing.

    2. Or schumacher-esque, he did that kind of stuff with minor ferraris as well.

  23. I don’t know if Seb still has the most overall penalty points in F1. At one point last year he was three away from a ban before some expired.

    Of course none of these guys live up to Mahaveer Raghunathan who earned enough points for 2 bans in one season in F2.

  24. Stuart Frasier
    6th July 2020, 22:07

    Has anyone mentioned that Hamilton broke Nick Heidfeld’s long-held record of 33 consecutive finishes? Also, since it was in the points, he has also broken his own record of 33 consecutive points finishes. Heidfeld still holds the record for consecutive classifications, at 41.

  25. Since the end of 2014, both of McLaren’s top 4 starts have come in Austria (the other being in 2016).

    The last 3 occasions on which McLaren have managed a podium all saw a McLaren finish 4th on the road then get promoted to 3rd (the latter 2 occasions were due to Hamilton being penalised for colliding with Albon).

    Hamilton keeps alive his record of never leading at the start of the last lap in Austria.

    First circuit at which Bottas has won twice.

    First time Bottas has won in an even-numbered year.

    Hamilton is now the outright holder of most consecutive actual finishes (34 – previously he tied with Nick Heidfeld). Heidfeld still holds the record of 41 consecutive classified finishes.

    First no-score for Red Bull since Azerbaijan 2018. Mercedes now have the longest unbroken streak (34).

    18th consecutive season in which at least 1 Mercedes car has managed a pole position – a new record.

    Highest start for a Thai driver – beating Prince Bira’s record from the very first World Championship race.

    Thanks to statsf1 and channel4 for some of these.

    1. Liked the mercedes car pole record, that means you make a good engine if your cars always get at least a pole that long, it’s the era where raikkonen was a new driver.

      1. “18th consecutive season in which at least 1 Mercedes car has managed a pole position – a new record.”
        I suppose Mercedes previously tied with Ford/Cosworth (1967-1983) on this statistic?

  26. For the first time Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren shared the podium. And they count 1470 podiums together…

  27. This was a racing incident and should never have incurred such a penalty. It is not just the 5 sec but the reportedly 4 driver’s points that I find a bit harsh. At the very worst a driver will get 3 penalty points for similar contact. Going back to the incident; If you look at the trajectory of the cars on turn-in, Lewis is clearly defending the position. His intent is to make Alex go the long way around if he is intent on making the pass there. Alex for his part, makes the move to out-brake on the ‘grippier’ tires but he is on the outside of a car that is on old, hard rubber.
    There was always going to be the risk of understeer on that Mercedes given the angle and speed at that exact point. Had Lewis even decided to make the concession of the corner once Albon was ahead, he still would not have been able to drop the speed sufficient to avoid understeer. Braking would probably have made it worst. Alex turns to the right to get the line for the upcoming left was always going to be problematic given Lewis’s shallow steering angle on corner entry. Had they both turned in at approximately the same angle, the cars would be almost parallel and the chance of contact greatly diminished. Though it may seem harsh, Alex was really the only one with any option after they got that deep into corner defense. He was lucky not to have cut-down a tire on Lewis’s endplate. A better move would have been to do Lewis between Wurth Kurve and Rindt. Alex still had the speed and the laps to get it done.

  28. Edward Russell
    9th July 2020, 21:22

    First race with no spectators?

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