Historic maiden win for Gasly in drama-filled Italian Grand Prix

BOITUMELO RANTAO

THREE talented young drivers drove the races of their lives, giving Formula 1 fans a peek into the future in a drama filled race won by Pierre Gasly with top teams Mercedes and Red Bull missing from the podium.

AlphaTauri’s Gasly, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and Racing Point’s Stroll are seen as the next generation of F1 winners and they showed what they are capable of at Monza, a home race for Ferrari who suffered a double-blow when both drivers failed to finish the race.

The 2020 Italian Grand Prix produced a spectacle of events that dazzled formula fans calling out for a change of events from the normal Mercedes team win.

The race was a rush of emotions that saw one red flag, two grid restarts, and four drivers retiring.

Winner Gasly scored a double. He was also voted as driver of the day after taking the chequered flag for the first time for his maiden win.

“I’m lost for words for what has just happened to us,” said Gasly.

He was ecstatic after standing on the top of the podium “Honestly this is unbeleiveable. We capitalized well after the restart and had great pace throughout the race. Getting to realise my first win in Monza is unbelievable”. His teammate Daniil Kyvat finished in ninth capping off a great weekend for AlphaTauri.

This was the first race since 2012 that a car other than the big three (Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari) has finished in first place.

Mercedes had a day to forget in Italy after regular proceedings leading up to the Sunday race start. Mercedes started the race in first and second on the grid.

Hamilton – who led the race, was on course to win until entering the pit lane when it was closed – suffered a 10- second stop penalty that left the current world championship leader in last place. “It just wasn’t meant to be today. That stop felt like a lifetime.” said Hamilton.

The defending world champion served his penalty and went on to storm through the field and finish seventh.

“This is something we can learn from. Coming in seventh from 26 seconds behind is still a great result” he added.

Bottas was disappointing from the start of the race dropping from second to fifth after the first lap. He struggled throughout the race and would eventually finish in fifth.

Mclaren’s young duo Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, who finished in second and fourth place respectively, impressed throughout the weekend. Sainz’s second place is his best ever Formula One finish.

“We had really good pace. Very happy with second place we have really been strong the whole weekend. We need to be proud of our weekend, we were the strongest of the midfield teams” said Sainz.

Team Racing Point experienced a mixed bag of results. Stroll finished in third for his second career podium finish. “We struggled for grip after the second start. Unfortunately, it didn’t work-out but we finished third so it’s not so bad,” said Stroll.

Perez struggled after the restart veering off the track (damaging Verstappen’s Red Bull in the process) finishing in tenth. Verstappen would retire soon after the incident in lap 31. Verstappen’s teammate Alexander Albon had a tough day crashing into Romain Grosjean’s Haas early in the race. He would eventually finish in 15th place.

Renault were hoping to build on their great performance in Belgium heading into Italy. They finished with Daniel Ricciardo in sixth and Esteban Ocon in eighth.

Ferrari fans would not have been pleased with both cars crashing out, Leclerc’s crash forcing a red flag in lap 23, at the beloved team’s home circuit. Leclerc’s teammate Sebastian Vettel crashed out early in lap six. Williams’ drivers Nicholas Latifi and George Russell finished in 11th and 14th respectively. It was an emotional weekend for the William’s team who announced in the week that they would be stepping away from Formula One. The team has been involved in Formula One since 1977 founded by Sir Frank Williams, the former team owner and father of current deputy team principal Claire Williams.

Race winner Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia AlphaTauri celebrates with third-placed Lance Stroll of Canada and Racing Point during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 06, 2020, in Monza, Italy. Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool


Final Classification:

  1. Gasly – AlphaTauri
  2. Sainz – Mclaren
  3. Stroll – Racing Point
  4. Norris – Mclaren
  5. Bottas – Mercedes
  6. Ricciardo – Renault
  7. Hamilton – Mercedes
  8. Ocon – Renault
  9. Kvyat – AlphaTauri
  10. Perez – Racing Point
  11. Latifi – Williams
  12. Grosjean – Haas
  13. Raikonnen – Alfa Romeo
  14. Russell
  15. Albon
  16. Giovinazzi – Alfa Romeo

DNF (Did Not Finish):

  • Vettel
  • Verstappen
  • Leclerc
  • Magnussen