Two massive crashes in first 10 laps eliminate nearly half of F1 field

F1 Mugello crashes
LUCA BRUNO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Two massive crashes in the first 10 laps Sunday eliminated nearly half of the field in the Tuscan Grand Prix, the first F1 race at the Mugello circuit.

On the initial start, a wreck collected Red Bull’s third-ranked Max Verstappen, who failed to finish for the second consecutive race, and Pierre Gasly, who broke through for his first Formula One victory last week at Monza.

After five laps following the safety car, the field made another attempt at restarting the race with a rolling start on Lap 6.

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But with leader Valtteri Bottas (who had taken the lead from teammate and pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap) deliberately slowing the pace, some drivers at the rear accelerated early.

That caused a chain reaction midpack that eliminated more drivers, including Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz, leaving 13 of the 20 cars able to continue. The race was red-flagged for a frontstretch cleanup.

The race finally was restarted with a standing start on Lap 10, nearly 45 minutes after the opening lap. Hamilton quickly retook the lead into the first turn from Bottas.

The race was red-flagged for a second time (the first time in four years that an F1 race was stopped twice) after Lance Stroll crashed on Lap 44 because of an apparent tire puncture.

No drivers were injured in the incidents. The seven eliminated from the race in the first two crashes were: Verstappen, Gasly, Sainz, Magnussen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Nicholas Latifi and Esteban Ocon.

Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 stops in the gravel as he retires from the F1 Grand Prix of Tuscany (Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images).

AlphaTauri’s French driver Pierre Gasly lands in the gravel trap after crashing at the Mugello circuit (MIGUEL MEDINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)