The inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix was shrouded in chaos at the start as seven drivers were involved in two separate incidents at Mugello.
Max Verstappen’s championship hopes now seem to have vanished after retiring from the race following contact between Kimi Raikkonen and Pierre Gasly at turn two.
The accident means Verstappen has retired from his second-consecutive race and his third of the season. It is the fourth time the Red Bull driver has failed to complete the first lap.
The Red Bull mechanics had been working on the Dutchman’s RB16 pre-race for what was believed to be a minor software issue on the power unit.
Verstappen then managed to get away from third comfortably, but it quickly became evident the power unit issue had not been fixed as he dropped to 13th by turn one.
His race then resulted in him being beached in the gravel on the outside of turn two, being sent into a spin by Raikkonen, who had also collided last Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix winner Gasly and Grosjean – the incident bringing out the safety car for five laps.
But the race was soon red-flagged following a second crash on the pit-straight after the safety car had pulled in. Race leader Valtteri Bottas had slowed the field down before finally accelerating just before the line.
The concertina caused a major accident involving Nicholas Latifi, Kevin Magnussen, Anotonio Giovinazzi and Carlos Sainz, who seemed to be in some discomfort as he walked away holding his hand.
Grosjean was clearly angered by the restart tactics by Bottas, remarking on team radio: “That was really stupid from whoever was at the front. They want to kill us or what?”
The red flag was thrown on lap nine because of debris strewn across the pit-straight.
With the remaining 13 cars forced into the pit lane for the red-flag period – the second consecutive such period given what unfolded in Italy – the field then became just 12 as Renault retired Esteban Ocon due to overheating brakes.
DRAMA AT THE RESTART! FOUR DRIVERS OUT OF THE RACE AFTER BIG CRASH DRAMA AT THE RESTART! FOUR DRIVERS OUT OF THE RACE AFTER BIG CRASH
|2023 F1 Car Launches|
|Red Bull||RB19||03 February|
|Alfa Romeo||C43||07 February|
|Aston Martin||AMR23||13 February|
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