How’s that for excitement?! Gasly wins his first race in F1! I’m sure the whole F1 world will agree with me when I say that the Italian Grand Prix was BY FAR the most exciting race so far this year. For the first time this year, the driver that took the top step was neither a Mercedes driver nor Verstappen. Everyone wanted a race like this, where Mercedes’ dominance came to an end. Luckily for us, that’s exactly what happened today. Of course, we can’t be sure that Hamilton won’t storm to victory at Mugello next weekend, but we do know that the 2020 Italian Grand Prix was definitely one we will remember. And here at F1ntastic.com, we’re going to review this absolute banger of a race.
How Pierre Gasly Won The 2020 Italian Grand Prix
The biggest question that’s circulating many minds right now is how did he do it?! How did Gasly pull off a win in an AlphaTauri car? The last time the Italian team won a race was when Sebastian Vettel did a masterclass in the rain at the 2008 Italian GP when the team was Torro Rosso. And look at Vettel now! He’s a 4-time world champion! Surely Gasly’s thinking about that! Also, the last time a French driver won a race in Formula 1 was in 1996 when Olivier Panis won in Monaco. That was 24 years ago, on the 19th of May 1996. Pierre Gasly was born on the 7th of February that very same year, meaning he was only 3 months old when a French F1 driver won a Grand Prix. Isn’t that insane! That must be making Gasly feel even more proud of his race win!
But coming to how Gasly won, several different factors came into play that allowed the Frenchman to claim victory at Monza. All of these parts of the race were connected, and they all happened in a certain order. 2 initial incidents allowed Pierre Gasly to win this race. The first was Magnussen’s retirement. Some problem occurred in Magnussen’s power unit that forced him to retire from the race. On Lap 19, the Haas was coming out of Parabolica.
Then, something stopped working within Magnussen’s Power Unit, and he pulled over to the side of the track. Magnussen pulled over at a place where marshals were there. Those marshals could push the car into the pitlane. So that they could do that safely, the stewards deployed the Safety Car and closed the pitlane. However, on Lap 19, Gasly pitted just seconds after Magnussen’s car stopped. The pitlane was not closed at that moment, so Gasly’s stop was legal. This is where Lewis Hamilton and Antonio Giovinazzi made a mistake. They both came into the pitlane and received 10-second stop-go penalties. Giovinazzi served his penalty when the green flags came out on Lap 24. However, all eyes were on Gasly. Since Gasly pitted before everybody else, he jumped a whole lot of the field and was up in P3.
However, the green-flag running was short-lived, for Charles Leclerc suffered a massive crash at Parabolica on Lap 25. He lost control of the rear end of the car at the final corner. The Monegasque ran over the gravel trap at incredibly high speeds and crashed straight into the tire barrier. The crash was quite worrying, and Leclerc did speak of ‘a bit of pain here and there’ after the race, but overall, he’s ok and is happy to walk away from the car without any major issues. However, there were issues with the barriers. The impact of the crash destroyed the tire barriers, and so the riggers had to repair the barriers. This caused a red flag, meaning the race was stopped.
This was incredibly beneficial to Gasly. Gasly was already in P3, and at the race restart, Stroll’s bad start brought Gasly up into 2nd. When Hamilton came into the pits for his penalty, he went down the order to last place, and Gasly was in the race lead for the first time in his Formula 1 career. This is now the part of the race where Gasly’s driving skills come in. Until now, incidents in the race put Gasly forward through the field. But when there were only 10 laps to go in the race, Gasly’s tires were wearing out fast. On Lap 34 of 53, Sainz took P2 from Raikkonen into Turn 1. Then by Lap 43, Gasly’s tires were screaming for help. At the same time, Sainz had enough life in his tires to push hard.
By around Lap 51 or the penultimate lap, Lap 52, Sainz was within 1 second of Gasly. Gasly’s engineer told him to push, and that’s exactly what he did. Sainz was closing up to Gasly like crazy, but then Sainz started facing problems. Sainz was getting a lot of dirty air from Gasly, meaning he had less downforce. Less downforce means Sainz is slower under braking and at the exits of the corners. Sainz was still gaining time on the straights from DRS, but he couldn’t overtake Gasly. Gasly managed his problems and managed the tires, and used Sainz’s disadvantage of dirty air to come across the line and secure a truly historic victory.
The F1 world applauded Pierre Gasly this race, and many drivers congratulated and praised Gasly for capturing his maiden F1 victory. This race was just what F1 needed; there was loads of excitement, with the first Red Flag in a race since the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. For the first time since the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix, there was not a single Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull driver on the podium. This race was one of the most memorable ones that F1 has seen in a long time, especially because the race was more strange (in a good way) and more entertaining than ever. Let me know in the comments below, how memorable was this race to you? From 1 – 5, 1 is the least memorable, and 5 is the most. Let’s end this post with a wonderful quote from Romain Grosjean, who really praised Gasly for his Monza victory.
I’m pleased with my race but I’m very, very pleased for Pierre. He’s been showing all year long his pace, his racecraft and today was the day when the stars were aligned and he took the opportunity. He’s a great guy, and it’s an incredible day for France – 24 years that we haven’t had a race winner, and there he is, standing on the podium, with the Marseillaise (The French national anthem). I’m so happy for him.”Romain Grosjean on Gasly’s win after the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.