Formula One has a new race winner with AlfaTauri’s Pierre Gasly winning an incredibly dramatic Italian Grand Prix.
The race had almost everything with crashes, penalties and some of the best racing of the season.
Oh, and also a podium without Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull.
Watch the 2020 Formula One™ Heineken Italian GP LIVE on KAYO. Every practice, qualifying session and race LIVE. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >
Gasly finished first, 0.415 seconds ahead of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, while Racing Point’s Lance Stroll rounded out the podium.
The 24-year-old Frenchman took full advantage of a 10 second drive through penalty for Lewis Hamilton and a red flag after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc had a huge crash. Luckily Leclerc walked away from the incident.
While the early stages of the race saw Hamilton race out to a big lead, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen struggled to get going.
But at the halfway point of the race, the race was flipped upside down with crashes and penalties wreaking havoc on the grid.
Sebastian Vettel’s race was over very early as he plowed through a series of signs.He soon called in to his team and said “No more brake pedal, brake line exploded” before limping back to the pits.
It ended a sad weekend for him, but it was just the start of the drama.
Soon after Kevin Magnussen broke down, pulling off at just before the pit lane.
His proximity to the pits meant that pit lane was closed with two red X’s flashing and a safety car deployed.
As per usual, Lewis Hamilton appeared to be peerless in the race, and had a healthy lead, but looked to pit under the safety car.
The flashing lights were in Hamilton’s field of vision, footage from the cockpit revealed, and he – as well as Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi – pitted while the pit lane was closed.
While the stewards were deliberating their penalties, Ferrari’s nightmare at Monza continued with Charles Leclerc slamming hard into the barriers in a crash Sky Sports’ David Croft said was “horrific”.
The race was soon red flagged. And then Hamilton and Giovinazzi were were handed 10 second drive through penalties, meaning the drivers needed to got through the pit stop process and stop for 10 seconds.
Hamilton was leading as the race was red flagged but when the race returned, he quickly took his penalty and had to come from the back of the field.
With Verstappen also retired from the race after an engine issue, while Bottas was struggling with pace from the outset, the battle for the win was between AlfaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.
But while Sainz pushed, Gasly pulled it off, scoring AlphaTauri’s second ever win by just four tenths of a second.
The last time the team won was coincidentally at the Italian Grand Prix in 2008, when Vettel won before he had won his world championships.
For Gasly it was extra sweet to claim his first ever race win after being promoted to the top Red Bull seat before being replaced in mid-2019 by Alexander Albon.
But he also had to deal with the death of his best friend and fellow driver Antoine Hubert, who
“Oh my god, what did we just do?” a clearly excited Gasly screamed over team radio. “Oh my god guys, we did it again. Oh my god, yes.”
“Honestly it’s unbelievable,” Gasly said in the post-race interview. “It was such a crazy race and we capitalised on it.”I’ve been through so much in 18 months, I struggle to realise this.
“I’ve got no words. This team has done so much for me, now they’re giving me my first win.
“It’s an amazing day. It’s been so long since another French winner. I never expected but this, I’m so happy.”
The F1 world was quick to react to the victory as well.
Sky Sports’ Martin Brundle summed it up perfectly: “David beats Goliath”. He also added that “F1 needs a result like this”.
Meantime it’s been a magical afternoon at Monza… what odds could you have got on that 1-2-3 at the start?! Pierre Gasly grabs a much deserved first win after a chaotic race in which both Ferraris failed to finish after spectacular exits (thankfully no injuries) #ItalianGP #F1 https://t.co/kDMEQqzXJV
— Jim Munro (@JimMunro) September 6, 2020
Incredible post-race scene following the Italian Grand Prix. Great stuff with Pierre Gasly improbably pulling off an all-time upset to win his first-ever Formula One race.
— Jordan Bianchi (@Jordan_Bianchi) September 6, 2020
I thought the Italian GP was going to be boring. It wasn’t.
Both Ferraris out. A red flag restart. A jumbled grid. Add it all up and you get a first time winner in Pierre Gasly, a great race by Carlos Sainz in 2nd … and ð¨ð¦ Lance Stroll in 3rd.
More of this please!
— Hugh Burrill (@hughwburrill) September 6, 2020
But while Gasly celebrated wildly with his team, Sainz cut a somewhat disappointed figure.
Despite coming second – his best ever finish – as he said late in the race, “I want this win”.
“I was so close but yet so far,” Sainz said at the end of the race. “I needed one more lap.”
In his post-race interview, he was still downcast.
“It’s incredible I’m disappointed with P2,” he said.”We were very very close. It’s what we deserved. We had a bit of bad luck with the red flag but we’ve been super quick all weekend so I’m happy.”
Especially getting back from P6 to P2, we need to be proud of that, and proud of the pace with the car.”
2020 ITALIAN GRAND PRIX RESULTS
1st: Pierre Gasly (AlfaTauri)
2nd: Carlos Sainz (McLaren)
3rd: Lance Stroll (Racing Point)
4th: Lando Norris (McLaren)
5th: Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
6th: Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
7th: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
8th: Esteban Ocon (Renault)
9th: Daniil Kvyat (AlfaTauri)
10th: Sergio Perez (Racing Point)
What is going on in the Italian Grand Prix?
Now Max Verstappen is out of the Italian Grand Prix after a retirement due to a mechanical failure.
Now there are only 16 cars left in the race.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is out of the Italian Grand Prix after a horrific crash but thankfully, he has walked away from the incident.
It’s the second Ferrari driver out of the race after Sebastian Vettel’s “brakeline exploded”.
Leclerc lost the back end of his car and slammed into the tyre barrier.
Thankfully he was quickly seen moving around in the car and was asked if he was ok over team radio.
“That was a big crash” he said before swearing.
He must have been alright as he ran away from his car with the race quickly red flagged.
But it wasn’t the only drama with a safety car as Kevin Magnussen broke down at the side of the road at the end of the final turn saw Lewis Hamilton and Antonio Giovinazzi both pit but cameras revealed pit lane was closed with Magnussen broken down just outside the entry to the pits.
As the race was red flagged, Hamilton asked “Is there going to be a penalty?”
It was quickly confirmed that he would with both Hamilton and Giovinazzi getting 10 second drive through penalties, which is essentially a 28-second penalty, as they have go through the process of pitting, while stopping for 10 seconds.
A furious Hamilton was seen furiously walking down the corridors.
“He’s seemingly been to see the stewards to talk about the lights,” Sky Sports’ Martin Brundle said.
Footage on Sky Sports showed that he passed two red crosses which meant the pit lane was closed but he complained over team radio that he didn’t see one on pit lane, which Karun Chandhok explained wasn’t necessary.
“It’s a little bit hard to see, but the red X was still in a place where Lewis should be able to see it,” he said.
“There isn’t a sign or a light but you passed two panels which said you couldn’t enter.”
Now Lando Norris was also under investigation for driving too slowly in the pits.
It’s made it a very interesting race.
A yellow safety car has as Kevin Magnussen broke down at the side of the road at the end of the final turn.
Lewis Hamilton and Antonio Giovinazzi both pitted but it appears the pit was closed with Magnussen broken down just outside.
Clearly, they had a red light which means the pit lane was closed.
Stewards are looking at it right now.
And six laps into the race, Sebastian Vettel is out of the Italian Grand Prix after his brakes failed.
Having driven through a chicane and plowing through a series of signs, Vettel reported his race was over.
“No more brake pedal, brake line exploded,” Vettel said.
In a rear shot as he drove into the chicane, there was clearly a fire behind the rear left wheel.
He nursed the car home and was the first driver out of the race.
It was his last race in Monza for Ferrari and continues the team’s horrific run.
Daniel Ricciardo is up into fifth after the first lap after Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas dropped from second to to sixth.
Max Verstappen has also dropped back to seventh and eighth in a battle with Racing Point’s Lance Stroll.
Bottas appeared to start slowly and then reported a “puncture” over team radio but there didn’t appear to be an issue.
It was perfect for McLaren with Carlos Sainz sitting second and Lando Norris in third.
One of the big talking points leading in to the weekend was the “party mode” engine settings ban ahead of Monza.
It’s a rule that bans drivers from changing engine settings during qualifying and the race and was widely seen as an attempt to slow down Mercedes who have again been easily the most dominant team.
So how did the ban pan out – well if it was designed to slow Mercedes down, it didn’t work.
Both Hamilton and Bottas beat the track record with Hamilton even putting in the highest average speed ever recorded in qualifying in F1.
But it wasn’t surprising to Aussie Daniel Ricciardo, who rubbished the belief that it would have slowed the Silver Arrows down.
“I never expected it to change the pecking order,” he said via Autosport. “I would be surprised if the guys here (at Renault did either). I don’t think they really did.
“I don’t know where the change was driven from, and if a team drove it for it be enforced or they just did it thinking something would change – a bit of a ‘hail Mary’.
“I don’t think we are surprised. I guess Mercedes is in a position to be a little bit arrogant with some of their comments, but look, I never expected them to struggle with this change. So, yeah: We will let them have it for now.
“I like that they have kind of dished it back. It is fun.”
Unfortunately, unless Max Verstappen can continue to challenge, it looks like nothing short of forcing the Mercedes’ to race in reverse will stop their domination.