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(video) Mayhem in Mugello

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ITALY: The first ever Tuscan Formula One Grand Prix at Mugello in Italy was stopped and then re-started on Sunday after crashes and two safety car deployments in the space of eight laps.

Debris was scattered across the straight after Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, Haas’s Kevin Magnussen and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi collided as the race re-started following a first safety car period.

Valtteri Bottas had been leading for Mercedes, with team mate Lewis Hamilton second, and controlling the pace.

As the Finn prepared to accelerate away, the back-markers reacted as if the leaders had already re-started. Sainz hit the back of Giovinazzi’s car as the Alfa swerved.

“I think people were going before you’d gone,” Mercedes told Bottas.

Sainz reported that he and the others were OK. “The crash was really scary,” he said.

“It felt like at the back of the grid where I was that everyone in front of me thought the race was going and we were all flat out until someone realised the race was not on,” added the Spaniard.

“The speeds we were going at were very, very big so the crash I had could have been much worse if one car had been sideways on the main straight, I think it’s something to learn from here.

“It’s definitely not a nice feeling to do 280kph and suddenly find three cars in the middle of the straight.”

The safety car was immediately deployed again and the race then halted before a standing re-start.

The safety car had been deployed after the opening lap when Pierre Gasly, shock winner of last Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza for AlphaTauri, was launched into the air and took out Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

It was the second race in a row to be red-flagged.

Renault said Esteban Ocon had also been retired due to overheating brakes.

Only 13 cars remained in the race. – Reuters

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