Lewis Hamilton won the 90th F1 race of his career on Sunday at the inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit in Italy. He is now within one of Michael Schumachers all-time record, and few would bet against him surpassing the Germans landmark before the season is up.
That was his sixth win of the season so far, and he has a 55-point lead over his nearest challenger for the drivers title teammate Valtteri Bottas. It seems certain that he will win his seventh world title, drawing him level with another Schumacher record.
The race was the 1000th for Ferrari in Formula One, and, to commemorate the occasions, both cars had been painted in the all-dark livery of the teams original colours, as well as the safety car, whilst a host of events to mark the occasion were held off the track. Neither car was very competitive though, with Charles Leclerc finishing eight and teammate Sebastian Vettel 10th,
The safety car though saw a lot of action in what turned out to be a chaotic race.
The drama began right at the start. Hamilton qualified on pole, but it was Bottas who made the better start and got away in the lead. However further back, four cars became involved in a crash, forcing the retirement of two of them, including Pierre Gasly who had won his maiden Grand Prix in Monza last weekend.
That brought the safety car out for the first time, and when the race restarted, the field was backed-up by Bottas. Drivers further back in the pack failed to understand that the tracing had not actually started and there was another big crash, with three more drivers forced to retire.
This time the race was stopped, and, after the cars had come into the pit lane, it was begun again this time from a standing start from the grid.
Bottas led the cars out. But Hamilton got into his slipstream and was able to pass him and take the lead.
All appeared to be going to plan for the Mercedes driver, but the action was not finished for the afternoon. Lance Stroll had a puncture after running over a piece of debris from teammate Sergio Prez and crashed heavily into the type wall. Again, the race was stopped, and the drivers were forced to sit in the pits again.
The third standing start of the afternoon saw Hamilton get away cleanly this time, and he was able to hold off Bottas, with Alex Albon claiming his first podium finish, with a third place for Red Bull.
It proved to be one of the most exciting races in recent memory.