Hamilton wins F1 Emilia Romagna GP, Mercedes seal constructors' title

Hamilton wins F1 Emilia Romagna GP, Mercedes seal constructors' title

Lewis Hamilton took victory in Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, Italy to confirm Mercedes' seventh consecutive Formula 1 constructors' championship, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

Hamilton had spent the early stages of the race in third position behind teammate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen, but assumed the lead as his rivals came in for their scheduled pit stops.

The Briton had elected to run longer into the race before making his stop, and this strategy paid dividends when a brief Virtual Safety Car period to clear Esteban Ocon's stricken Renault allowed Hamilton to rejoin the race still in the lead.

Behind Hamilton, Verstappen took second place on lap 43 from Bottas, who was struggling with damage to his floor after running over debris in the opening stages.

However, the Dutchman was sent spinning out of the race nine laps later with a punctured tyre, prompting the deployment of the safety car to allow marshals to clear the beached Red Bull.

Though the subsequent bunching of the pack provided some late drama as drivers squabbled for position, Hamilton and Bottas easily held their places to the flag to ensure Mercedes of their latest constructors' title.

"It was an exhausting race, the speed we were having to go after a poor start," said Hamilton, who also took the bonus point for fastest lap.

"We have a great leader in our team and a big, big thank you to Mercedes. Seven [championships] is unbelievable. While we have great performances, it is not easy to continue to deliver. The guys are so precise in how they take the car apart and put it together again weekend after weekend."

Behind the dominant Mercedes duo, Renault's Daniel Ricciardo finished an excellent third ahead of AlphaTauri's equally impressive Daniil Kvyat, who made good use of fresh tyres towards the end of the race.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc took fifth ahead of a disappointed Sergio Perez, who might have finished third in his Racing Point if he had not elected to pit under the safety car.

The two McLarens of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris took seventh and eighth, while the two Alfa Romeos of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi rounded out the points in ninth and tenth, with Raikkonen notably going 50 laps into the race before making his pitstop.

In addition to Verstappen and Ocon, three more drivers also failed to see the chequered flag. Williams' George Russell embarrassingly crashed under the safety car while weaving to warm his tyres, and appeared distraught at his mistake.

Kvyat's teammate Pierre Gasly was obliged to retire with an engine issue early in the race, while Haas' Kevin Magnussen pulled off after complaining of headaches.

Hamilton's win sees him edge a step closer to a record-equaling seventh world drivers' title, and the Briton now has 282 points, giving him a 85-point lead with just 104 left to play for. Bottas remains some way back in second with 197 points, while Verstappen stays third on 162.

In the constructors' standings, Mercedes have an unbeatable total of 479 points. Red Bull are still second with 226 points, while Renault move up to third with 135 points.

The next round of the 2020 F1 season is the Turkish Grand Prix at the Istanbul Park circuit on November 15, where Hamilton can wrap up the title if Bottas does not outscore him by more than seven points.

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