The Italian Grand Prix on September 6th marked the most exciting GP in years for Formula One. It contained all elements that support an iconic race. This included the horrific crash for Charles Leclerc, and the subsequent race postponement, which saw all drivers line up at the starting grid for the 2nd time. Monza 2020 had Lewis Hamilton charged with a 10+ time penalty during the race postponement, with the six-time champion forced to pit two laps later to sustain the drive-thru penalty.
How the Grand Prix Unfolded
When Kevin Magnussen parked a few hundreds of feet away from the starting grid on the 19th lap, it prompted the FIA to “Red Flag” the Pit Lane. This meant that pitting wasn’t possible for drivers until the Pit Lane reopened. Lewis Hamilton didn’t notice the Red Flags & drove towards the Mercedes AMG-Petronas garage. There weren’t any discussions of a +10-time penalty until Antonio Giovinazzi from Alfa Romeo repeated the same mistake. The FIA were forced to give both drivers the same punishment.
After Lewis Hamilton completed the +10-time penalty during a drive-thru of the pit line, Pierre Gasly managed to pass the six-time champion & reach second place. This was thanks to AlphaTauri pitting Gasly on the 16th lap. Less than two minutes later and Charles Leclerc crashed on the 17th lap, prompting all other competitors to enter the Pit Lane once it was reopened. Hamilton immediately pitted without noticing the Red Flags, with most of the remaining drivers waiting until the Pit Lane reopened.
Carlos Sainz was the exclusive driver that didn’t Pit on the 17th lap, waiting until the 18th under McLaren’s direction. Once he pitted, it allowed for Pierre Gasly to overtake the Spanish driver & reach first place. Pierre held onto that position for multiple laps, even when Carlos Sainz drew closer on the final corner of the Italian Grand Prix. Pierre Gasly is the 1st French Driver in 24 Years to win a Grand Prix.
Overjoy for Pierre Gasly
When questioned by F1 Reporters on his feelings behind his maiden podium victory in Formula One, Pierre Gasly evoked that Monza 2020 was the craziest race of his life. Pierre mentioned that his AT-01 was notably fast, providing him with the pace required to compete against Carlos Sainz on the final laps. Gasly continuously thanks AlphaTauri for providing him with an opportunity to drive, that they’ve given him multiple podiums & unforgettable memories. Pierre noted that he’s forever in their debt.