F1 2020: Gasly fends off Sainz to win dramatic Italian GP

    Gasly secured his maiden F1 win at the Italian GP; Sainz and Stroll complete a surprising podium as Hamilton was handed a penalty.

    Published On Sep 06, 2020 10:45:00 PM

    9,997 Views

    Pierre Gasly won an action-packed 2020 Italian GP as Monza churned out one of the most memorable F1 races in recent history. With this, the French driver has secured his maiden F1 win and AlfaTauri’s second win in the sport, 12 years after Sebastian Vettel handed the team – then competing as Toro Rosso – their first victory at the same venue.

    McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll completed an unexpected podium after a 10-secs stop and go penalty for early leader Lewis Hamilton threw the race wide open.

    • Pierre Gasly clinches his maiden F1 win
    • Hamilton recovers from 10-sec stop and go penalty to finish 7th
    • Both Ferraris retire on home ground

    Why was Hamilton handed a penalty at the Italian GP?

    It initially seemed like Hamilton was well on his way to secure his 90th career win. His Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas’ poor start allowed the McLaren duo of Sainz and Lando Norris to climb to 2nd and 3rd. And this only helped Hamilton pull away at the front.

    However, the race was turned on its head when the safety car was brought out as marshalls recovered Kevin Magnussen’s Haas. The location of the stricken Haas meant that the pit lane had to be closed. But Mercedes and Alfa Romeo seemed to miss out on this, with Hamilton and Antonio Giovinazzi both diving into the pits for fresh tyres.

    Just moments later the race was red flagged after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc suffered a massive crash at Parabolica. While the grid waited for the race to re-start, the stewards handed Hamilton and Giovinazzi a 10-secs stop and go penalty for their pit lane transgressions, which translated to roughly a 30-secs loss at Monza.

    Hamilton served his penalty after the race re-started on lap 28 and it dropped him all the way down to last place.

    Gasly’s landmark victory

    Hamilton’s penalty, Bottas’ cooling problems and Max Verstappen’s subsequent retirement due to a power unit issue left the race with a rather unexpected leading pack. Gasly had done well to overtake Stroll at the re-start and he now found himself in the lead ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Sainz.

    Sainz overtook Raikkonen on lap 34 and then set about trying to catch Gasly. At one point his race engineer reminded him to avoid making any errors as 2nd place was yet a major result. But Sainz replied with a steadfast “I want this win”.

    The race went right down to the wire as Sainz eventually closed up to the back of Gasly’s AlphaTauri. But he ran out of time and had to settle for 2nd place. Gasly ended up crossing the line 0.415 secs ahead – some much-needed redemption for the French driver, 13 months after he was dropped by Red Bull. Stroll secured his second career podium with a 3rd place finish.

    Interestingly, this was the first time since the 2013 Australian GP that not a single driver from Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari stood on the top step of the podium. “Honestly, it’s unbelievable. I’m not realising what’s happening right now. It was such a crazy race, and then we capitalised on the red flag,” a shocked Gasly said after the race.

    "I’ve been through so much in the space of 18 months, my first podium last year, I was already like ‘wow’ with AlphaTauri. And now my first win in Formula 1 in Monza. I have got no words,” he continued.

    Norris comfortably held off Bottas to take 5th place and secure another strong result for McLaren. Daniel Ricciardo raced to 6th place, while Hamilton recovered from his penalty to finish 7th. Esteban Ocon, Daniil Kvyat and Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10.

    Disastrous home race for Ferrari

    Following a disappointing Belgian GP, where Ferrari failed to score a single point, things only got worse for the Italian squad on home ground.

    Sebastian Vettel could only qualify down in 17th and retired early on with a brake failure. Leclerc, meanwhile, lost the rear of his car and crashed into the outside wall at Parabolica. Speaking after his race ended prematurely, Vettel even said that it was “a blessing” that there were no fans at Monza.

    “Tough times are part of life and part of sports but at the moment I think it’s not fair to all the guys that put so much effort in, that we are that bad. But on the other hand it’s a testimony of where we stand and it’s poor obviously where we are, especially here for our home race – I think it’s probably a blessing that there’s nobody in the stands,” he said.

    What does the F1 2020 drivers’ championship look like?

    Hamilton yet has a firm grip on the top of the standings with a total of 164 points. Verstappen’s retirement has pushed Bottas to 2nd place overall, 47 points behind his team mate. Meanwhile Verstappen now stands 3rd, seven points adrift.

    F1 will now head to Mugello next week for the inaugural Tuscan GP. This will also mark Ferrari’s 1,000th world championship race, so the team will be hoping to not disappoint.

    2020 Italian GP results

    POS

    DRIVER

    CAR

    LAPS

    TIME/RETIRED

    1

    Pierre Gasly

    AlphaTauri

    53

    1:47:06.056

    2

    Carlos Sainz

    McLaren

    53

    +0.415s

    3

    Lance Stroll

    Racing Point

    53

    +3.358s

    4

    Lando Norris

    McLaren

    53

    +6.000s

    5

    Valtteri Bottas

    Mercedes

    53

    +7.108s

    6

    Daniel Ricciardo

    Renault

    53

    +8.391s

    7

    Lewis Hamilton

    Mercedes

    53

    +17.245s

    8

    Esteban Ocon

    Renault

    53

    +18.691s

    9

    Daniil Kvyat

    AlphaTauri

    53

    +22.208s

    10

    Sergio Perez

    Racing Point

    53

    +23.224s

    11

    Nicholas Latifi

    Williams

    53

    +32.876s

    12

    Romain Grosjean

    Haas

    53

    +35.164s

    13

    Kimi Räikkönen

    Alfa Romeo Racing

    53

    +36.312s

    14

    George Russell

    Williams

    53

    +36.593s

    15

    Alexander Albon

    Red Bull Racing

    53

    +37.533s

    16

    Antonio Giovinazzi

    Alfa Romeo Racing

    53

    +55.199s

    NC

    Max Verstappen

    Red Bull Racing

    30

    DNF

    NC

    Charles Leclerc

    Ferrari

    23

    DNF

    NC

    Kevin Magnussen

    Haas

    17

    DNF

    NC

    Sebastian Vettel

    Ferrari

    6

    DNF

     

    Also see:

    Renault F1 team to be rebranded Alpine from 2021

    F1 2020: Turkey, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi races confirmed

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