Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Mugello, 2020

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000 Star Performers

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

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Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat were RaceFans’ Star Performers of the Tuscan Grand Prix weekend. Here’s why.


Daniel Ricciardo

With 12 laps to go Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault was in second place, splitting the two Mercedes after a great restart. He had little hope of keeping Valtteri Bottas behind, however – the W11 shot past him the next time around. Alexander Albon’s Red Bull got him in the DRS zone as well.

Nonetheless Ricciardo had got the Renault up where it didn’t belong in spite of being compromised in Q3 by his team mate’s spin at the end of the session. Ricciardo worked his way up through the field during the gap between red flags, and came away with a fourth place which was the best the team could hope for under the circumstances.

Daniil Kvyat

After his team mate’s victory at Monza, Daniil Kvyat needed a decent weekend and he delivered one. While Pierre Gasly stumbled in Q1 Kvyat made it through and qualified a decent 12th.

On race day he avoided the pitfalls which claimed many of his rivals in the midfield, and followed Lando Norris home for seventh place. It may not have been the highs of the previous race for AlphaTauri, but it was a solid weekend’s work.

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Sebastian Vettel

By his own admission, Vettel was fortunate to make it out of round one in qualifying after making a mistake. He couldn’t follow his team mate into Q3, and had it not been for the final red flag would probably have been beaten to the last point by George Russell’s Williams.

And the rest

Bottas got ahead of Hamilton but couldn’t stay there
Valtteri Bottas had the pace to beat Lewis Hamilton this weekend, but couldn’t quite make it happen. The final restart was a missed opportunity. Sadly more Honda trouble meant we never got to see whether Max Verstappen could take the fight to them, while Alexander Albon lost too much ground early on in the other Red Bull to be a factor, though he salvaged third and made his first podium appearance.

The various crashes left many drivers with tales of what might have been. Pierre Gasly went out in a lap one tangle with Kimi Raikkonen. Carlos Sainz Jnr (who out-qualified Norris again), Nicholas Latifi, Kevin Magnussen and Antonio Giovinazzi all crashed in the Safety Car restart and Esteban Ocon went out shortly afterwards with fried brakes.

Finally, an apparent puncture sent Lance Stroll into the barrier at Arrabbiata two at alarming speed – happily he was unhurt. He failed to out-qualify team mate Sergio Perez despite being the only one with Racing Point’s upgrade, though to be fair his final qualifying run was spoiled by Ocon’s spin.

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Mugello, 2020
Grosjean impressively recovered from this
Of those who made it to the finish, Romain Grosjean deserves a special mention. Having taken his Haas into Q2, he took heavy damage in the first-lap crash, but dragged his car home. Gorsjean was even up to ninth at the final restart, but was never going to be able to hold onto the place, and dropped behind the Ferraris and Russell.

Sergio Perez took fifth for Racing Point after being mugged by Albon at the final restart. McLaren weren’t particularly competitive at Mugello: Lando Norris failed to reach Q3 for the first time this year, but salvaged useful points with sixth.

Raikkonen should have been eighth, but broke the pit entry rules and collected a five-second time penalty. That promoted Charles Leclerc, who again laboured away in the dismal Ferrari, and impressively ran third at one stage. Russell might also have taken advantage had he not fallen to the back after a poor final restart.

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2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

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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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    58 comments on “2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000 Star Performers”

    1. Stars: RIC and RAI
      Strugglers: VET and LEC

      1. That’s more like the race that I watched…..

      2. RAI got lucky when he gained one lap, don’t see how he is more a star than LEC who at least dragged his “car” to 3rd place at one stage.

        1. Well, you could also say that it was a blessing in disguise. Raikonnen lost one lap to the cars he was racing because of the safety car and a badly timed pitstop.
          If the safety car hadn’t come out at the point it did, the likes of Vettel, Russel, Leclerc and Kwijat would all have been lapped shortly after him and they all would have been even again…

    2. Stars: none. Cant think of a single driver that did more than what was to be expected
      Strugglers: Vettel and Leclerc

      1. hows leclerc a struggler? he put the ferrari into q3 and held p3 for most of the race before destroying a four time world champion to finish ahead.

        1. @f1fan-2000 Isn’t that it? He started P3 and finished barely ahead of Vettel.

          Leclerc was so poor on race pace, you wonder why on earth he is setting up the car 100% focused on Q3 performance when it just makes him perform even worse in the race.

          If he would pay some attention to race setup he should at least be able to stay properly ahead of the other Ferrari engine cars.

          1. I think you’re a bit harsh on him there. There’s rarely a qualy and a race setup anymore and surely now one is “100% focusing on Q3 performance”.
            He doesn’t usually show the tendancy to fade away over a race distance as well.
            It was just a good lap but more important was that most of the other drivers didn’t get their second lap in due to the yellow flags.
            I agree though that he wasn’t a star performer and that (both the) Ferrari get the setup wrong as they are usually relatively easy on their tires.
            Nor was Kwijat by the way. He was just “there”.
            Instead of him I’d put Hamilton and Raikkonen.

            1. RAI gained ONE LAP because of the last red flag

          2. @f1osaurus is that not rather skewed by the fact that we had the two red flags during the race, with the latter one meaning that Leclerc had a fairly small number of laps to try to build a lead over Vettel?

            If you look at the earlier parts of that race, Leclerc was generally quite a bit quicker than Vettel and was around 12 seconds ahead of Vettel before the disruptions caused by the different crashes. Looking only at the gap at the end of the race, therefore, makes Vettel look like he was closer in performance to Leclerc than was really the case for much of that race.

            Furthermore, you say that “If he would pay some attention to race setup he should at least be able to stay properly ahead of the other Ferrari engine cars.” – which ignores the fact that, for most of that race, Leclerc was the leading Ferrari engined car. Kimi was over 16 seconds behind Leclerc before the second red flag – it was a restart that cancelled out that lead and meant Kimi could change tyres for free during the red flag period that basically gifted him that position.

    3. Pleased to see Kvyat getting some acknowledgement here. I voted for him on the driver of the weekend poll and he showed as 1%!

    4. ‘Decent’, ‘decent’, and ‘solid’ gets you a star rating.

      PS RIC and KVY were two of the 3 drivers allowing a gap in front of them and then erratically speeding up and braking again at the first restart.

      1. +1 both those drivers were warned by FIA for their actions at restart and they are star performers.

        1. There is no rule that says you can’t keep a gap. If you accuse them of overtaking cars that is a different thing. How can we be sure the FIA is correct. To warn 9 drivers driving along the straight is unprecedented. They can’t all have committed the same offense unless stepping on the brakes to avoid an accident is an offence.

          1. There is a rule which forbids ‘erratic driving’:

            39.13 When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message “SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP” will be sent to all teams via the official messaging system and the car’s orange lights will be extinguished. This will be the signal to the teams and drivers that it will be entering the pit lane at the end of that lap.
            At this point the first car in line behind the safety car may dictate the pace and, if necessary, fall more than ten car lengths behind it.
            In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, from the point at which the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any other manoeuvre which is likely to endanger other drivers or impede the restart.

            From checking the onboards and car positions it was RIC, KVY, and RUS who created a gap in front of them, then accelerating fast to close it, to then brake hard. That’s ‘erratic acceleration or braking’ in my book.
            The others merely tried to stick close to the cars in front of them.

            1. Which begs the question, why 9 drivers got a warning.
              If you take out the first 6 or 7 cars in front who can obviously see what the lead car is doing and you take out Gasly and Verstappen. You are left with only about 10 or 11 Cars. Of these number, several will be forced to react to the actions of those ahead. It is thus crazy for there to be a warning to 9 drivers which is my point.
              It is lazy policing

    5. Stunning comments

      I give my vote to the guy who won three times on Sunday last. How can you consider any losing performance better than what Hamilton did?
      Let’s get real here.

      1. Won 3 times? I’m pretty sure bottas won the first!

    6. Ricciardo is fair. Not sure there was much else of remotely star-like quality. Hamilton was underpar (for him) but still qualified first and won. He’s a good judge of his own performance, though, and recognized it wasn’t exceptional. Without the incidents, I think Bottas would have won this one.

      This Verstappen pattern has been seen before. Not that I blame him in the least. Starts the season driving superbly, then a problem surfaces in the car and the already slender chance of a championship bid evaporates, and he becomes irritated and downcast, at least in his comments on the radio and in the media. Who knows if the car issues are aggravated by his own deflation. I don’t think so, but certainly falling back into the middle of the grid makes accidents (and damage to an already issue ridden car) more likely. But then he usually recovers for the end of the season. Red Bull aren’t delivering.

      1. Yes, engines fail because the driver behind the wheel is angry sometimes when his car fails. Engines are highly emotional beasts.

        1. @aiii Engines do fail from rough treatment, though, and frustration can lead to being over-aggressive.

          1. We went through this in 2017, when people were all “well Ricky’s engine isn’t failing, it must be how Max drives the car”

            And then 2018 happened and the roles were reserved.

            Turns out engine fails when they’re poorly constructed for the task being asked for them. It’s that simple.

          2. Engines can;t be stressed by a driver…the chassis can, bit the the engines, they are limited and protected by many many sensors…like normal car’s many problems occur due to faulty sensors.

            In 2017 Max did stress his car as well according to some ‘fans’… 7 DNF’s, meanwhile later in the season Dan suffered from 6 and it silences… however in 2018 Dan’s bad luck continued, according to this same selective group of ‘fans’ it was not the driver, but actually RBR that did it to him….. all rather desperate really.

            Max 13 DNF’s, Dan 14 in 58 races as team mates

            1. Matn, whilst unlikely, I wouldn’t say that it is completely impossible for a driver to cause premature failure of an engine due to the way they were using it.

              Until the restriction on engine modes came in, one example would have been if a driver had been overusing the more aggressive power unit maps, which would have resulted in increased wear – that would have been one thing that would be within the power of the driver to use, or abuse, and result in premature failure (though you would expect the team to observe that pattern of behaviour).

            2. Mercedes actually warned Hamilton that short shifting over bumps could damage the car so yes you can easily damage the engine and gearbox with different driving styles. Not saying Verstappen has done though, just that its incorrect to say its not possible.

            3. Yes, simple unreliability and luck made the difference, nothing to do with number 1 or 2 or stressing the car.

        2. @aiii I was talking about the overall handling of the car rather than the engine, though I’m OK with the idea of engines being highly emotional beasts! I’m not sure drivers are always quite so objective about them, for instance…

      2. Not sure I would bank on Bottas winning. Seems Hamilton has mastered the tyres better than Bottas since Silverstone, and this was a high deg track. He was behind Hamilton to be fair, but he doesnt seem to be able to balance the car as Ham does when they change direction and ends up with greater/uneven wear.

        1. @riptide It’s possible Hamilton would have passed anyway for that reason, sure. I just think the gap between them looked less than other races, Bottas seemed determined, and pouncing at the start was a real upgrade on recent performances. I’d say his best chance to win since Austria 1 anyhow.

          1. Yes, I think this was one race where we wouldn’t have been surprised to have seen a Bottas win, along with Sochi next week. Although I’m also mindful that Hamilton could play the %age game, particularly as in this race Max was out of the picture. Not that there was any evidence of that when he went around the outside of Bottas. The onboard clearly showed he had to catch the car from spinning.

      3. Hamilton was underpar

        In that Mercedes, and with Verstappen’s misfortunes, it’s all he needs.

    7. Bert Mylander needs a special mention. He had a hectic weekend.

      1. Try that again ;-)

    8. “Valtteri Bottas had the pace to beat Lewis Hamilton this weekend” did he? Hamilton got pole position, fastest lap and also managed a comfortable lead without destroying his tyres.

      1. Just load the Merc with Uber software and HAM can go for a pee and still winning.

      2. I think you should factor in just how difficult it is to overtake unless the driver in the car behind you is simply significantly faster. Hamilton wasn’t this much faster this race compared to Bottas. Had Bottas stayed ahead (which he managed to at the start and first restart), it it quite likely that he will have “had the pace needed” to keep Hamilton behind, even if he actually was the slower driver. This has been the case with a few of Bottas’s wins. Such as the first race. Bottas had the pace to keep Hamilton behind, but had Hamilton been ahead, the gap may well have been well over 5 seconds or maybe more.

        Also, I don’t think you should judge pole from hamilton this time as Bottas was unfortunate with the flags. Bottas was just over a second behind Hamilton on the start finish line just before starting the last lap and knowing that he had used the energy to attempt fastest lap, he knew he won’t have been able to catch Hamilton as this area was the opportunity which will be far shorter the next lap obviously. I am pretty certain this will be why he backed off on the last lap. Being 4 seconds slower on the last lap won’t all suddenly be related to destroying his tyres if he was closer before. He knew his chance will have gone so there was no point taking risks at that point.

        1. @thegianthogweed I’m not convinced, although prior to Qualifying Bottas looked quicker and granted he had bad luck with qualifying (but that’s being generous since he was slower on the first run) the strength of the DRS plus slipstream into the headwind was pretty strong. When Bottas was behind Hamilton he wasn’t able to get into the DRS zone which we saw throughout the field pretty much every other car could do even when closely matched. Hamilton was able to keep a comfortable gap and opened it up prior to the pitstops and even increased it despite Bottas having the undercut with an inlap over 1.5s quicker than Bottas. After the final restart Bottas couldn’t keep up.

          Now it’s a lot of what-ifs but I’m fairly certain that had Hamilton been running behind Bottas (i.e. without the safety car and first restart) he would have been pushing to get in that DRS zone and would have had a good chance of getting past Bottas on the straight – on the evidence we have he was quicker so it doesn’t seem unreasonable with the headwind plus DRS. Alternatively he would possibly have been at least putting pressure on Bottas to a mistake. It’s something we just don’t get from Bottas very often – certainly he can drive quickly enough in qualifying but he often doesn’t have the rest of the tools to get the job done with our without the best start.

          1. I don’t often defend Bottas but at the Silverstone GP he pushed Hamilton and his own tyres to destruction by running at high pace on Hamiltons wing for the last stint. He’s also done that at a couple of other races this year much to Mercedes horror as they just want to look after the tyres and engines every race. We have of course had a few nowhere races from him too.

      3. Hamilton’s skill, determination, ability keep his tyres in play and to never give up are beyond parallel in the current field. A team player,
        polite and a alert to strategy and tactics and understand the realities even under stress is remarkable.

        How can he not be the star when he does it time and time again.

        1. agreed. Seems to happen more often nowadays. It’s as if Ham is not in the same race, and the journalists seem to be weary of adverse reactions from fans…

        2. Bottas lost 5 seconds keeping pace with Lewis as he absolutely shredded his tyres while Lewis was forced to pit earlier than he wanted because VB cried on the radio to come in, and this lot want to say he had the pace? Yeh driving out of his skin and dropping a second a lap at one stage is really having the pace isnt it?? Laughable analysis.

    9. I certainly think Grosjean deserves the credit he’s getting, but also should be star performer too. Getting through to Q2 was pretty good and that was a fair wallop at the start of the race which he was an innocent victim in. While he did get angry (rightly so), He didn’t just give up. He said to his team that he would try to get out then was basically giving a load of feedback on how the car felt when he drove back onto the track. On the live broadcast, they only seem to replay Grosjean moaning and we seem to miss the radio messages that are examples of his experience. He did really well to keep it going. The team calculated that there was about 2 seconds a lap worth of aero damage on Grosjean’s car. He then somehow managed to avoid the chaos at the restart and had a very narrow escape. He was one of the 8 drivers who didn’t get a reprimand so he didn’t have a part to play in this. But with all the bits and pieces flying over him, and that he was driving over, he almost certainly will have picked up more damage. Despite all this, at the final restart (admittedly he had an extra formation lap), he managed to do 3 passes. The one on Leclerc was particularly impressive and unusually, both Brundle and Sky and Coulthard on Channel 4 both gave him credit for this. If it wasn’t for his damage, given Kimi had a penalty, 8th will have been a realistic position for him this weekend. His race was as impressive, if not more than Magnussen’s in Hungary, so I certainly think he should be a star performer here.

      Kvyat was very solid, and IMO at least as impressive as Gasly last weekend, but I’m not sure either were really that amazing, but I’m not against Kvyat for being a star performer either as it is hard to argue with.
      Ricciardo although He got a reprimand was very good this race and pretty much got the maximum out of his car.

      Regarding Stroll, I think Stroll should be getting more credit than he is. Not that I know any more for certain, but even at the time, it looked more than an “apparent puncture”. From the onboard replays, you could hear something snap and from Brundle’s view, and Coulthard’s and webber’s on channel 4, you could tell they didn’t think that was simply a puncture. You can never confirm if a teams upgrade is better. Perez was a bit quicker in qualifying, but looked downright slow in the race compared to Stroll. Only 30 laps into the race despite there being a restart, Stroll had pulled 15 second gap and just before Stroll spun, that gap was still the same. This was despite Perez having the powerful undercut which initially did clearly gain Perez a few seconds over Stroll. Stroll was either fighting for 4th or quite possibly 3rd. Albon likely wouldn’t have come into play if it wasn’t for the safety car. Other than qualifying, I would say Stroll was equally impressive here as he was in Hungary. I’m not sure if he was good enough to deserve a star rating, but if not, I think Perez was bad enough to be considered a struggler.

      Sainz was decent in qualifying, but that spin at the start (as I think even keith himself said) looked like a vettel style spin. Stroll was on the outside and had no need to go any wider and Stroll had over 2 cars widths on his inside that he didn’t use. He just understeered and tapped Stroll. He didn’t blame Stroll in any way by the sound of it in his interview though – nor did he sound annoyed with anyone else on the radio at the time. I think it was just a poor mistake by him. He also was one of the many drivers to get a reprimand for the restart. So he basically played a small part to the end of his race. And had his race not had that crazy restart, I can’t even be sure he’d have beaten Vettel.

      And that gets me onto the struggler I disagree with. Vettel was really unlucky to lose his front wing like he did. like Grosjean, there was nothing he could do to get out of that and he had to come in for repairs. His team mate may have had a good qualifying as well as a great start, but Leclerc’s first stint was poor after that. he didn’t make the most of the strategy given and fell right down the order. That is understandable, but the thing is that in the last stint, he didn’t even pull 2 seconds on Vettel. I don’t think Leclerc was a struggler, but I certainly don’t think Vettel was either. Leclerc was far better in qualifying, but was no better than vettel in the race really. Another think to add is that vettel was another driver that didn’t get any reprimand. I find it unrealistic that vettel is a struggler here – especially the only one.

      I would probably say the stars are:


      And the strugglers


      Many will think Hamilton should be a star performer, but Bottas likely would have got pole if not for the yellow flags as he was apparently a tenth up on his dash before the yellows. Hamilton’s start actually was nearly as bad as Bottas’s in Italy last week. But the drivers behind him such as Leclerc and Stroll had to back off when Verstappen’s sudden loss of power happened. At least 3 cars including likely will have been able to use Hamilton and Bottas to outbreak Hamilton into the first corner. Bottas then did the next restart perfectly and from then on, despite his lack of speed relative to Hamilton, it likely will have been just enough to win like he managed in the first race. Hamilton was fortunate to have another standstill restart, which again, bottas had the better launch, but Hamilton used the slipstream and had prepared his breaks and that move has to be said was pretty impressive. But all in all, I don’t think hamilton’s weekend was great.

      1. Not sure why I didn’t include Gasly in the strugglers list either. Not getting through to Q2 was certainly poor from him, though it has to be said that area of the grid is very tight. But both Coulthard on Channel 4 and Brundle on Sky implied they thought he was somewhat optimistic trying to squeeze into the gap he did. This ended his weekend from an underwhelming performance the day before

        1. Gasly made a monumental error diving into an already closed gap. I wasn’t sure what he was thinking driving so carelessly. One weekend the highs of victory next the lows of taking yourself and sister team mate out. So much for being ready to move back to Redbull.

        2. I’m pretty sure he had damage in qualifying. Could just be a line but given his FP3 pace it seems likely it’s true.

      2. @thegianthogweed
        Agree about Stroll, was happy to see him fight hard for the podium and chase Ricciardo down before his crash. He drove quite well in the race.

      3. @Ben Rowe – if Hamilton walked on water, you would still say the sea was too calm, hence it wasn’t impressive. Such is your alternative rendition of events.

        Here is a man who qualified ahead of his teammate, lost the lead and won it back, managed his tyres better, had faster race pace, and got the fastest lap of the race on older tyres. Yet you are here claiming he was lucky to get a standing restart.

        Didn’t Bottas get a standing restart too? What did he do with it? Even without red flags, Lewis would definitely have won this race. His race pace and tyre management were far superior to Bottas.

        The team made clear Bottas tyres were crucial, which is why (as usual) he had to be pitted first to protect him from an undercut. And this has nothing to do with who is leading or following. Even when behind, Lewis has always displayed superior race pace.

        Bottas has only been able to get close to Lewis in qualifying since he received Lewis’s previous race performance engineer, Riccardo Musconi. In fact, Bottas himself confirmed this gave him access to Lewis’s driving techniques and other tricks.

        Here are his own words –

        “And also getting Ricci from Lewis’s side, he’s been working with him, so he knows very much in detail about his driving techniques and ways of setting up the car.”

        Unfortunately, such techniques are much easier to replicate over a single qualifying lap than over a race distance.

        1. I’m just saying I don’t think Hamilton was a star performer and giving my own view on things… Hamilton did a better job than Bottas, but I don’t think either were exceptional over the weekend on the whole. The article also doesn’t have hamilton as a star so I’m not the only one who things he wasn’t outstanding.

          1. @thegianthogweed I thought your long post very solid and interesting reading though I don’t quite agree with you or the article on Bottas and Hamilton, I would say that over the season Hamilton will be the star, but this weekend wasn’t his best and had Bottas had luck on his side he might have run Hamilton close.

            1. That’s not fair. At-least, he demonstrated his reasoning with evidence. Where is yours?

            2. I would say that over the season Hamilton will be the star, but this weekend wasn’t his best

              It is amazing how a driver can get pole, win a race, and also bag the fastest lap – yet we can say the weekend wasn’t his “best”. Saying other drivers worked harder to get to their finishing positions, does not mean we have to somehow devalue or undermine what Lewis Hamilton did. Lewis worked hard to get his win.

    10. Hamilton gets a star too. He beat his teammate in qualifying, beat his team made in the race, won the race. Fastest lap too I believe.

      I wouldn’t call him driver of the weekend because clearly the Merc should be 1st or 2nd. But he still couldn’t have done any better and got the silverware, so star performance.

    11. As others have commented, I’d also rate Hamilton as a star. Bottas was faster in practice and seemed to just have the edge (qualifying could have easily been the other way), but then Hamilton had the pace when it mattered. One of those weekends where the champion(s) show why they are slightly better than the non-champs; being that tiny bit better when it matters.

    12. Valteri had the pace to beat Lewis Hamilton this weekend, but couldn’t quite make it happen

      Where was this pace? Is race winning pace what is shown in practice, or what is actually displayed during the race?

      Whilst Valteri may have had the pace to qualify ahead (highly debatable), he certainly didn’t have the pace to win the race. His tyre wear was worse than Lewis, and his race pace was not spectacular either.

      There was absolutely no indication of this “race winning” pace during the actual race.

      1. Seems that free practice is an indicator of things in these articles now…

    13. Looking forward to seeing Ricciardo in a Mercedes powered car next year. He could be best of the rest after Mercedes.

    14. F1 hood is getting more and more bump hurt.

      There’s only one star in this episode and it’s Lewis. He drove the car to a well deserved victory against a team mate who pushed him the whole weekend.

      In the quali less than a tenth between them. In the race less than 2 seconds until last lap.

      In a decade we’ll talk about how f1 media tried to sell out to butt hurt fans and forgot what really f1 is about.

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