Start, Imola, 2020

Rate the race: 2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

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Rate the 2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix out of 10

  • 1 (3%)
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  • 3 (2%)
  • 4 (3%)
  • 5 (8%)
  • 6 (21%)
  • 7 (33%)
  • 8 (21%)
  • 9 (4%)
  • 10 (2%)

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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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85 comments on “Rate the race: 2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix”

  1. Quite straightforward for a large portion until the SC period.

  2. Certainly not below expectation for Imola. The race reminded me of some of the early noughties races where the teams knew strategy was going to be the only way to pass. Great to see Ricciardo quietly getting the job done. I feel terrible for Russel. Lewis again faultless and snatched a win that didn’t look to be on the cards in the early stages.

    1. Not completely faultless with that start, but he certainly made up for it later.

    2. Agree here. I don’t get this ‘it’s wonderful to be back here’ – if it weren’t for the safety cars and retirements it would have struggled to be better than Yas Marina

  3. Kimi scored 2 points, so it’s a solid 2/10.

  4. Voted 1/10. Gifting Lewis a win with an unnecessary VSC was absolutely disgusting to watch. The race was really interesting besides that. Fantastic race by Verstappen, Kvyat and Perez. Sad to see Pirelli denying Verstappen a deserved second place and Racing Point screwing Perez out of a podium.

    Love this track. It was nice to see a ‘vintage’ race where every overtake had to be earned. Verstappen putting the pressure on Bottas was amazing to watch.

    1. I wouldn’t get too upset about the the VSC. Lewis had already done enough to jump both Bottas and Verstappen. It just made it a little more comfortable for him. If marshals needed to be on track at that corner to recover the car, the VSC was definitely necessary, if only for the short period it was used.

      1. Stop it, Tommy. Stop using facts to spoil a conspiracy theory.

    2. @paeschli I disagree that the VCS was unnecessary.

      Ocon’s car was in the firing line exiting Acque Minerali & the Marshall’s were having a tricky time recovering it as that part of the track is on a hill. That sort of situation is the reason the VSC was introduced to start with, Slow the cars down for a brief period so that marshall’s can safely recover a car without needing to disrupt the race with a full SC.

      1. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want but that timing was a bit too suspicious for me @stefmeister. They raced for 1.5 load with a yellow flag before throwing a VSC at the exact moment Mercedes has to decide whether to pit Lewis or not. And of course the VSC ends just as he exits the pits, preventing all other drivers of using the same strategy.

        1. I will send you some tin foil for your head if you want?

        2. I assume you think the same about the later full safety car – which actually initially favoured Bottas?

          I don’t get how come some kind write what they do!! It’s totally insulting to those in charge to think that that they favour any driver. Would like it if it was implied about you?

        3. They couldn’t be that precise if they tried. End of.

    3. @paeschli whilst I expect that there will be many making that complaint, from the timing information – the gap was already over 28 seconds – it looked like Hamilton would have had enough of a gap to hold onto the lead under normal conditions anyway.

      It probably would have been close, and Bottas would have had a chance to challenge for position given his tyres would have been up to temperature, but given that he was struggling due to that debris being stuck in his barge boards – it looks like he might have picked up debris from the Vettel-Magnussen clash – that did seem to be causing him problems with instability under braking, I think that Hamilton probably would have edged out Bottas anyway.

      If anything, given the way in which the race director has reacted in more recent races, I’m more surprised that they didn’t deploy either a safety car or a virtual safety car sooner when Ocon pulled over.

      1. I agree with Anon here that it looked like Lewis had the gap already @paeschli. Now if he had had the same lacklustre/slow-ish pitstop he actually had it might have been quite tight, he might even have had to let Bottas past, but most probably Hamilton would have kept the lead even without it.

        The VSC just made it that tad more relaxed for him. The real thing that won Hamilton the race was Bottas hitting the debris that made his car lose the pace, without that, I don’t think Hamilton would have been able to get the gap anywhere near enough for a pitstop.

        1. We’ve seen the likes of Hamilton and others with damaged floors, cope better

          Of course it was a factor – but I’m unconvinced that Bottas would have won if it had been the other way around. I think Max would have done

          Clearly RB didn’t think that the mediums were up for doing the same fastest laps that Hamilton did, otherwise they’d had stayed out – so perhaps we should give Hamilton credit for surprising everyone and yet again getting performance out of tyres that others simply can’t

          We tiptoe around about Bottas – he’s simply not in the same league as Hamilton or Max. Or Ricardo & Le Clerc for that matter and certainly not the returning Alonso. I also think Perez is better

          Next season could be embarrassing for him if Ferrari and Renault can get as close as RB are now

          I like Valtteri a lot, he’s just not good enough

    4. It’s a shame that Hamilton had already built more than a pit-stop lead by the time the VSC was thrown, because otherwise your crackpot conspiracy theory would have had some legs. As it was, the VSC almost certainly made no difference to the result whatsoever.

  5. So the company with the most money. Who also poached the best staff from other teams along with the secrets they know. Who has the most staff and best resources now beats the rest of the plebs and I am supposed to be impressed? It is just sad to see.

  6. What a joke. So unconceivable that sky sports couldn’t believe the luck. Cowmic odds. Last weekend fair game, not today. Ocon, again, it is always Ocon. Their original strategy to leapfrog Max was not going to work on pit exit. F1 needs to do something, it is like mercedes calls all the shots, this is not le mans, merc just call the var when they want to. Also, Lewis unlucky not go get to pit straightaway on the max sc, but it made no difference how? how did they still end up ahead of Ricciardo? doesn’t matter, Lewis sign the contract! They do everything to keep you happy and us miserable, last week, deserved, today silver platter.

    1. Glorious!! Whinging like this is food for my soul! Get in there Lewis! Get in Merc!! WDC No 7 coming in Turkey. Wah wah wah wah 🤣

      1. Whinging like this is food for my soul!

        What a sad soul you must have…. lol

        1. Hehehehe 🤣 loving it. Feed me honey

    2. It was lucky indeed.
      However, what do you mean “Their original strategy to leapfrog Max was not going to work on pit exit”. Can you elaborate @peartree

      Are you also saying the Mercedes are “calling the VSC”? Are you really saying this or just writing it for a joke or something? Sometimes I don’t know. Thanks.

      1. Hes just got a hot flush. Shouldn’t worry too much.

      2. @john-h judging by his other comments, he does seem to be one of those conspiracy theorists that pushes out the same sort of bile.

    3. @peartree You mean he wouldn’t have kept the lead, even though he was already 28 seconds in front of Bottas, and the standard pit loss is less than 27 seconds? You’re going to have to explain that.

    4. LOL!!! Conspiracy theory of the century!! Love the way you’ve not only managed to get the FIA in on it, but now apparently Ocon 🤣

      Never mind that Estaban’s drive was considered up for grabs a few weeks ago, when the Gasly rumours started, so it’s the last thing he wanted – you keep entertaining us!!

  7. The aerodynamic wake is killing this sport, even DRS gimmicks can’t save it.

    1. Yep, let’s hope 2022 helps. That’s what they’ve been working on.

  8. So sad that the so called pinnacle of Motorsport is relying on a single driver (Max) to make it interesting.

    Once he’s out of the race it turns into a parade.

    RedBull need to get Perez in that car now!

  9. I gave it a 7 as while there wasn’t a ton of overtaking I enjoyed the bits we did see (Far more than any of the 57 ‘overtakes’ we saw last weekend) & above all else I just love watching F1 cars around Imola.

    I would much rather watch a race around Imola, Mugello, Magny-Cours or many other great circuits with less than 10 overtakes than a race on many of the samey modern circuits that may feature many more overtakes but lack character & simply aren’t that fun to watch cars driving around.

    1. Imola was always a poor circuit for overtaking and incident s0 no-one was bothered when it was dumped in 2006. Ironically, that was probably the best Imola race from the last half a dozen or so. So much for this boring era!!

      I think rose-tinted nostalgic spectacles are taking over, although I agree that tracks like Yas, Sochi or Paul Ricard are any better

  10. Can I vote for the VSC as driver of the day?

    1. I’d vote for the full SC – as that actually made things interesting.
      The VSC ruined one of the only decent fights for the lead we’d (potentially) have seen for ages.

      1. Nah, the VSC robbed you of nothing.

  11. I’m sad for Max and Russell. It was an ok race, not as bad as some of the predictions.

    Those that think race control threw a VSC just so that Hamilton could win (see above) might want to take a look at Masi’s past record with regards Lewis and come back to us. They threw the VSC after Ocon was clear of the car.

    Hamilton was lucky, but he was more lucky in terms of how the race panned out rather than the vsc because he would have been in 1st anyway, not least because of Bottas damage and Verstappen pitting too early.

    1. Russell just made the type of early career error that all the greats have made, i.e. Lewis, Canada 2008. The beauty of his mistake is his reaction – totally blaming himself and you can see he’ll learn from this

      1. True @banbrorace. What a time to do it though!

  12. Lewis’ shoey saved it.

  13. Switched over with 20 laps to go to play on my sim – had a great race! Sad to see Max didn’t finish but glad I spent my time doing something more fun.

    1. You missed the best part of the race.

    2. Turned off when there was the VSC debacle, not like it was hard to predict such a result.

  14. Stopping the race is the best gimmick in F1. Always brings about racing ironically.

    1. VSC was the worst call. Should have been a full SC.
      Every SC should be a real one.

      1. Clearly they escalate based on vsc, full sc, red flag.

  15. 7 overall good race.

  16. What negativity here. Didn’t expect that. I thoroughly enjoyed myself today.

    The tension of a possible overtake (especially VER vs. BOT), to me at least, is just as exciting as the overtake itself. The track, the surroundings, the history, and as I said, the racing to me made this a very good GP.

    The VSC that gifted Lewis 1st place was a bit of a bummer, but the late SC excitement made up for that IMHO.

    1. @jeffreyj

      The tension of a possible overtake (especially VER vs. BOT), to me at least, is just as exciting as the overtake itself.

      100% agree.

      I think a race that features a long battle over a position that has the potential for an overtake can be far more exciting & far more memorable than a race that features a ton of overtaking. That’s why people look back at races like Imola 2005/2006 or Monaco 1992 while races that featured tons of overtaking like Istanbul 2011, Bahrain 2006 & likely Portugal last week get quickly forgotten.

      Overtaking is great, But at the same time it shouldn’t be the only judge of how good or not a race was & I think over the past 15 years or so people have put far too much importance on only the stats when rating a race & I don’t think that has been a positive thing overall.

      1. far too much importance on only the stats when rating a race

        And when I say that I don’t simply mean fans rating a race on sites like this.

        It’s also a lot of people in F1 & especially the media who like Croft today on commentary often just read out a bunch of overtaking stats with no context & then use only those figures to reach conclusions that aren’t always correct…. That been that more always = better.

        1. More overtakes is an indication of closer competition.
          DRS is obviously inflating the number or statistic – but so what? Numbers such as overtakes, pole positions and race wins mean very little in F1.

          1. Funny how PPs, race wins etc mean very little now Lewis has the most. There wasn’t much mention of this before. The internet has given us many great things but overinflating the voice of the minority is not one of them.

    2. The VSC that gifted Lewis 1st place was a bit of a bummer

      You seem to have completely missed the fact that Hamilton had already built more than a pit-stop’s worth of a lead. The VSC made no difference to the race result.

      1. @scbriml

        Either way, we missed out on a very close pit exit battle with HAM on colder tires because of the VSC.

    3. + 1. I agree with this analysis.

  17. Very exciting race. Much drama and great overtaking manouevres.

  18. I gave it a 6.

    Pretty processional as after the first pitstop everyone seemed more or less at the same place. I’m not counting overtakes as a sign of a good race but there wasn’t even attempts in the race, with cars unable to get closer than 0.7 seconds in normal conditions.

    My bet was initially on the medium-starting Perez but kudos to Ricciardo, the only F1.5 driver to make a soft -hard work.

  19. The rqce started okay, VSC and mostly Bottas floor problems killed it after that. Some more action because of the late safety car, but not enough to make this race more than half decent. 6/10

    Ps. Very curious if the British press is going to give Russell an equal hard time as they did when Grojean crashed behind the safety car in Baku.

    1. Why would they? They are the British press so shouldn’t they naturally help nurture and support their guys? Sky UK has NOTHING on SKY Italia when it comes to partisan support.
      But…This of course is nonsense as the British press are great at building a star but they are even more competent at ripping said star to shreds when they become “elite”.
      Please don’t be mistaken by thinking Sky sports are a true representation of the British Sporting Press!!

  20. why on earth RP sacrificed track position with a gamble on soft tyres. were they aiming for a shocking victory? well, a bird in the hand…

    1. They did it again what a terrible team.

    2. @naylamp my guess is that they were expecting the other drivers around them to also pit, and were caught out when those other drivers stayed out.

      You can see both sides of the coin – Kvyat and Perez did manage to pass other drivers who stayed on the hard tyres on the opening lap, showing that there was an advantage to switching to the softs, but in the end Ricciardo’s move did indicate that track position, providing you held off those softer tyred cars on that opening lap, was more advantageous.

    3. CRAZY decision!! What WERE they thinking??? Hopefully Perez is consoled with an RB seat.

  21. Pretty decent, better than I expected so a 6 for me. I’m particularly enjoying alpha tauri vs Ferrari and I thought after Gasly’s retirement that Leclerc would cement P6 in constructors for ferrari, thanks to Kvyat it is wide open.

  22. I feel bad for Perez not getting the podium that belonged to him.

  23. 5/10
    I mentioned yesterday here that incidents will play a crucial role to make a race out of the race.
    Lets start with Mercedes. They have built a solid car and except one race where Bottas had a technical retirement. So a well deserved championship. On shorter tracks, there are only 3 cars that are actually in contention and one of them retired today. Hamilton shows excellent control over tyres and made amends for the relatively slower start of the race. Red Bull had a weird retirement but in motor racing anything is possible. And Alexander Albon now have had three consecutive blown chances to prove his worth. The fact that he did not take out Kvyat’s front wing again is a miracle.
    Renault kind of benefitted from Racing Point’s gamble and Perez to be honest did a very good job. I kind of now see that Vettel is actually putting in some effort and all that is going down the drain, whether incidentally or deliberately is debatable. he was in keeping close to Kimi and look where he ended up. It is a close battle for the third position but Ferrari apparently is not interested at all.
    Tough luck for Gasly and Hakinnen moment for Russel.

  24. A good race on a real racetrack. We must thank the nefarious Chinese virus that has given us the opportunity for Formula 1 to race on real racetracks like this one in Imola or Portimao instead of those horrible circuits that the mercenaries who own the category impose in ridiculous places like Dubai or Russia or the Saudi Arabia next year.

  25. Although it can always be better…it very easily could have been so much worse…a 7 ….
    Two drivers undeserving of their drives were Albon(has to be his P45 now)..and Stroll…who I reckon is the new Maldonado…Surely the shareholders of RP have got a say in who drives for the team now…
    Well done Mercedes another record taken

    1. IF the rumors mercedes had several years headstart over the other teams to prepare the hybrid engines and IF it’s not true that the fia is purposefully not trying to slow down mercedes like they undoubtedly did for many other dominant cars in the past, well done mercedes for bringing the best car for 7 years in a row except only the joint best car in 2018, although they’re big ifs!

  26. 4 or 5.

    It was a pretty dismal race even before the unfortunately necessary VSC ruined what looked like an interesting (albeit socially distanced) fight for the lead. The SC at the end made things a bit more fun, but six or seven laps can’t make up for the rest of the race.

    I love having these classic tracks back, and Imola is a beautiful circuit, but can’t say I’ll miss the place if it returns to non-calendar status.

  27. I’d give it a 2.
    4 points for a different driver on the podium, 6 points for using a full SC and -8 for using the VSC. A poor decision with disgraceful timing. Ruined what little the combination of this track and current F1 cars had to give.

    1. Agree with that, I gave it a 5 cause aside from mercedes’ level, vers problem and the vsc it was a pretty good race, so it gets away with a simple insufficience.

  28. The race had some clear and familiar narratives: top three running away, midfield scrap, tyre saving, strategy dominating, and a late-race safety car.

    Not the most exciting race, but at least things happened, such as Verstappen getting past Bottas (instead of being stuck behind for the entire race) and a change for the lead. 6/10 for being quite entertaining.

  29. I quite enjoyed it, somewhere around a 6 or 7 would be about right. Interesting strategy, some genuinely good overtakes that were not purely from DRS, and a few unexpected incidents. I was a bit sad for Kimi because he did that mammoth stint, finally pitted, and then the full SC came out 1 lap after, otherwise he would’ve got an even better result and his tyre management would’ve had a massive pay off.

  30. I actually rated it 7. The first six laps were exciting and the last six laps were exciting also. The bit in the middle was only of medium interest. The result was a disappointment as i’d hoped to see some challenges for the win but it was not to be. As usual the F1.5’s made a great race of it. I thought that Ricciardo was superb as he had a stunning start and kept his powder dry driving a calculated and awesome race. He was suitably rewarded and cements his place as one of the very best. Perez was unlucky in one respect but he really cannot claim to be hard done by as his track position was all as a result of Magnussen emulating a Trulli train thus allowing him to close up on the leading pack. As for the Mercedes demo run well what can one say. Boring comes to mind.

  31. 4 is good enough. The VSC definitely took away the glow of Hamilton’s drive today. The ill-made 1st sector certainly prevented some hard racing. Still, it was enjoyable to check on Raikkonen’s pace and Kvyat’s overtake (best move of the race IMO).

  32. 7 from me, was pretty dull overall but the SC generated enough interest to lift it a bit higher.

    Overtaking was an issue, need a bigger DRS if they want to race here again or change the final corner. Or the cars.

  33. 7/10 for me. I was heading for a fairly routine 6 but the safety car added to the excitement as it often does.

    I think the VSC was justified but it was unfortunate to an extent that it really favoured Lewis. I think he might have passed his rivals anyway though.

    If they had called a full SC at that point people would have complained about that.

    There was a bit more excitement than I expected really. Imola is beautiful circuit to watch the cars take on but it’s always been a tricky place to pass. I would like to see it back in 2022 with the new car designs.

  34. Boring. 5. Just like the old Imola races, except the odd overtake after safety car restart or mistakes. Even the pits is outdated, taking way too long to do a stop, ruining alternative strategies.

    Could have been a stunner with the top 3 so close on pace (well 2 after the damage) on another similar track. When I say similar I mean a good mix of different type of corners that Imola and not too long straights which closes up the field. That’s the only good thing about this track.

  35. Not wanting to start anything more here, but. I recall Vettel (While leading) being punished for an unsafe reentry in front of Ham. Was Bottas not guilty of the same (Unsafe reentry) on front of Ver in this one?

  36. Don’t see any point in the argument around Ham vs Bot, it’s a non contest in favor of Ham, they are leagues apart. That comes from someone who is not a Ham fan…(NB! not that I particularly dislike Ham, he’s just not my favorite)

  37. I think that was a pretty solid GP. Battle for 1st which doesn’t normally happen. Lots of drama and some good overtakes. Classic F1.

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