F1 madness: 'This is the worst thing I've seen, ever'
British superstar Lewis Hamilton has won a crash-marred inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix, securing his sixth race win of the 2020 Formula 1 season and 90th career victory.
Teammate Valtteri Bottas was second as Red Bull driver Alex Albon secured his first podium in F1, but all the talk from Tuscany's Mugello Circuit was about the chaotic crashes which plagued the race.
Only 12 cars crossed the finish line, with several drivers forced to retire throughout the 59-lap race.
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The mayhem started on the opening lap, when a collision at the first corner resulted in last weekend's winner Pierre Gasly and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen flying off the track. McLaren driver Carlos Sainz went spinning in the middle of the tarmac, as several rivals frantically attempted to dodge the out-of-control car.
Two 2020 Grand Prix winners were forced to retire without completing a lap as yellow flags were shown in Tuscany.
But the chaos was by no means over. After the yellow flag had ended on the seventh lap, the drivers were speeding up when several cars collided at the back of the pack.
With four cars unable to move and a mountain of debris scattered on the main straight, red flags were shown for the second consecutive F1 race.
"That was f****** stupid from whoever was at the front," Haas driver Romain Grosjean cried.
"Do they want to kill us or what? This is the worst thing I've seen, ever."
With 50 laps remaining, the race recommenced from a standing start, and Australia's Daniel Ricciardo maneuvered his way into the podium positions after a tactical pit stop.
On the 42nd lap, Racing Point's Lance Stroll spun off the track after receiving a puncture, prematurely ending his race.
Stroll was in P4 and battling Albon when he flew into the barriers at high speed, but was unharmed during the scary incident.
Unfortunately, yet another red flag was shown, and the drivers were forced to return to the pits again as stewards cleared the flaming car from the track.
The race got back underway for a third time, and Ricciardo briefly found himself in second place after shooting past Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas from the standing start.
BREAKING: @LewisHamilton wins at Mugello! 🏆— Formula 1 (@F1) September 13, 2020
He takes the 90th F1 win of his career, ahead of team mate @ValtteriBottas (P2)
Red Bull's @alex_albon finishes P3 to take his first ever F1 podium place! 🙌#TuscanGP 🇮🇹 #F1 pic.twitter.com/Clx7b5mJ9V
"It was all a bit of a daze. It was like three races in one day. It was incredibly tough today, obviously with a difficult start," Hamilton said after the race.
"This track is phenomenal. Obviously the heat and holding off Valtteri Bottas, who has been quick all weekend, was not easy and I was behind in the beginning. All those restarts, the focus that's needed during that time, it's really, really hard."
On the podium, Hamilton wore a shirt which read: "Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor."
Albon was chuffed to snare his maiden podium finish in F1: "Obviously a while to get here - and it was a tough one. I had to work for it.
"I can breath, it feels nice to be here.
"We just didn't get off the line, so most of the overtakes had to be done on the circuit. Our car is good on the brakes, we've known that since day one, so we can do the kind of moves like that. It's fun to drive."
TUSCAN GP FINAL RESULTS
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
3. Alex Albon (Red Bull)
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
5. Sergio Perez (Racing Point)
6. Lando Norris (McLaren)
7. Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri)
8. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
9. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
10. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
11. George Russell (Williams)
12. Romain Grosjean (Haas)
DNF - Carlos Sainz, Lance Stroll, Kevin Magnussen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Max Verstappen, Nicholas Latifi, Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly
Originally published as 'This is the worst thing I've seen, ever'