Gasly bags first ever F1 win at Italian Grand Prix
Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly claimed his first Formula 1 win at Monza, fending off McLaren F1’s Carlos Sainz and BWT Racing Point’s Lance Stroll. This monumental upset, however, came after a transgression under the Safety Car saw polesitter Mercedes-AMG Petronas’ Lewis Hamilton forced to serve a 10-second stop/go penalty, leaving him seventh at the final flag.
The issue stemmed from the safety car period enforced to clear Haas F1’s Kevin Magnussen’s stricken racecar. Once the flag went green, however, Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow’s Charles Leclerc lost control going around the high-speed Parabolica final corner, which prompted the Italian Grand Prix to be red-flagged, the first time since 1995. Leclerc had been running in P4 when he crashed, having jumped up the order when the Safety Car period and subsequent pit stops turned the race on its head.
During the Safety Car period, however, Hamilton had entered the pit lane when it was closed (as did Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen’s Antonio Giovinazzi), which saw him slapped with a penalty. Hamilton served the penalty after the race was restarted on Lap 28 of 53. This particular turn of events left Gasly at the head of the field, as he had pitted before the Safety Car was brought out. From here onwards, the Frenchman held on brilliantly to take a sensational maiden win in Formula 1 at AlphaTauri’s home race, with McLaren’s Carlos Sainz finishing second, and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll rounding off the podium.
Brit racer Lando Norris (McLaren) came in fourth, fending off Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in P5 (the Finn had suffered a poor start, leaving him at P6 at the end of Lap 1). Renault DP World’s Daniel Ricciardo took sixth ahead of Hamilton, who recovered well from his penalty to take P7, followed by Ricciardo’s teammate Esteban Ocon.
Leclerc’s crash capped off a miserable home race weekend for Ferrari, who had already lost Sebastian Vettel to an apparent brake failure early on in the race. Ironically, the last time Ferrari suffered a double DNF at Monza was also in 1995. Additionally, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen also retired on Lap 31 – meaning the 2020 Italian GP turned out to be the first time in the turbo-hybrid era that neither of the Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari cars has finished on the podium.
Note: Provisional results. Hamilton scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.