Emilia Romagna GP: Bottas snatches pole from Hamilton


Runaway championship leader Lewis Hamilton overcame a sluggish start to win the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday for a record-extending 93rd Formula One victory.

Hamilton, who predicted a "boring race" in his pre-race interviews, had a slow start, with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen zooming past and AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly mounting the pressure.

It left Ricciardo behind the two Mercedes cars with the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and the Red Bull of Alex Albon between him and Perez. On the race restart when the safety vehicle went in, Albon took a spin and wasn't able to join the pack till the last auto went past, demoting him down to fifteenth - the last position on the grid after the five retirements.

However, a statement by F1 said it was committed to being a "positive force everywhere".

"It's a great feeling when you get those".

Hamilton also banked a bonus point for the fastest lap to extend his lead over Bottas - now the only other driver in title contention - to a hefty 85 points.

"And I think it probably just showed where our race pace was, because we'd set the vehicle up to look after the tyres and be kind and not overheat them".

Daniel Ricciardo had double Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso on his side of the Renault garage on Saturday and he welcomed the Spaniard's input. He then pulled away from Valtteri and was on track for second place until his tyre let go, possibly due to some debris, which ended his race.

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"Obviously I was smiling about it, because I was like, 'well that's giving me third on track.' I knew hanging on with the hard on the restart was going to be tricky, but I was more than happy to fight for it at the end, and track position is obviously very important around here".

"I think this time, at least from what we can see from France and Germany, access to pubs, restaurants and leisure places has been stopped or has been curfewed, but going to work is still permitted for the ones that need to go to work".

Speaking ahead of the weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the third F1 race to be held in Italy in a virus-hit season, Wolff said developments surrounding the dreaded virus and lockdown situations were worrying signs for F1.

While most drivers kept within the track limits, some, unfortunately, found it hard.

Gasly, Ricciardo, Albon, Leclerc and the McLarens could be involved in an entertaining battle for fourth.

F1 has raced in Europe since the July season-opener in Austria, with teams taking chartered flights directly to airports near circuits and remaining in a bio-secure "bubble" during race week so as to maintain minimal contact with locals and outsiders.

"I would like to be here next year but there's no guarantee of that, for sure".