Pierre Gasly holds off Carlos Sainz to take astonishing win in chaotic and thrilling Italian Grand Prix


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Did you know??

Monza is the fastest circuit on the current F1 calendar, with drivers reaching in excess of 350kmh on the long straights and using full power for over 75% of the lap, it’s no surprise that the Italian Grand Prix has the shortest race time on the calendar; recent races have been completed in just over 75 minutes.

La Pista Magica’ – ‘the magic track’ – is how Monza is referred to by Italians. The ferocious speed of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza encapsulates the spirit of the sport like no other circuit and requires the drivers to be on the absolute limit throughout the race weekend. Steeped in history and universally loved by Formula One fans, Monza has hosted the most Grands Prix in the sport’s entirety.

The 2020 Italian Grand Prix will go down in history as one of Formula 1’s biggest surprises. Here’s how it all unfolded…

In an emotional weekend at Monza, the Williams family stepped away from the team that Sir Frank Williams founded in 1977, with Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams revealing after the race that she'd sent on her way with a very special gift from the team on the day of her swansong... It is truly the end of an era.

5……..4…………3…………..2……………1 and here we go at the Monza 2020.

As usual a good start from Lewis Hamilton who was all set to pull away from the rest with his high-powered Mercedes. Bottas makes a slow getaway from second and is immediately overtaken by Sainz. Norris then goes around the outside of the Mercedes at the Roggia, before Bottas runs wide at the second Lesmo and loses fourth to Perez. Ricciardo follows into the Ascaris to demote Bottas to sixth. Slow-starter Verstappen is next to challenge Bottas but is instead passed by Stroll. Albon makes a contact with Gasly at the first corner and goes over the run-off, dropping down to 15th.

What a first lap for the McLaren drivers! With Bottas struggling and the pace of Sainz and Norris looking genuinely strong this weekend there’s a huge result on the cards.

On lap 6 Vettel locks up into the first chicane under pressure from Russell and hits the polystyrene blocks in the run-off. He reports brake failure and slows. Ferrari’s Monza weekend has somehow got worse.”

Norris is on his final warning for track limits (Parabolica, again). He’s been told by his engineer not to do it again. Three warnings = a black/white flag. Anymore and it goes to the stewards. There’s less pressure from Perez now, which should help.”

Hamilton pitted from the race lead just as the safety car was deployed to collect Magnussen. He rejoined second behind Sainz and took on medium set of tyres. Giovinazzi is the only other driver to pit.

Stewards investigated Hamilton and Giovinazzi for those pitstops, as Mercedes confirms to its driver that he’s just stopped in a closed pit lane. (Drama here for Mercedes, as Lewis will be penalized for pitting in closed lane) and too the surprise Hamilton and Giovinazzi were slapped with 10 sec stop-go penalty.

On lap 25 things go more worse for Leclerc’s Ferrari as he slams heavily into the Parabolica barriers after losing control. Safety car was deployed again, and then a red flag came out. Leclerc gets out of the car unaided. One car out with a brake failure, the other out with a huge crash. Glad Leclerc seemed OK. But an utterly miserable home race for Ferrari – given it’s Monza (good the race was behind closed doors) worse than the two taking each other out in Austria.

During the red flag break Hamilton visited the officials to discuss his penalty during the stoppage wherein he argued with the officials as he says, if there was no red light on entry, how is he supposed to know, he argues. And in return he’s been told it’s not the pit lane entry light that’s the issue, it’s the panels on the left-hand side of the track.

Restart lap 28: Hamilton keeps the lead, but Stroll makes a slow start and falls to fourth behind Gasly and Raikkonen, who go wheel to wheel into the Roggia. Stroll then shoots over the run-off at the Roggia and falls to fifth. Verstappen locks up at the first corner and falls into the midfield.

Lap 29: Hamilton pits to take his penalty and rejoins last, 19s behind Albon in 16th. Now the Race order: 1 Gasly; 2 Raikkonen; 3 Giovinazzi; 4 Sainz; 5 Stroll; 6 Norris; 7 Bottas; 8 Ricciardo; 9 Ocon; 10 Kvyat; 11 Perez; 12 Latifi; 13 Grosjean; 14 Verstappen; 15 Russell; 16 Albon; 17 Hamilton.

Ferrari’s got almost no chance of winning a race in 2020. It doesn’t even have any cars left in the Italian Grand Prix.

On lap 37 Engineer Tom Stallard told Sainz to take care of his tyres so that he has the grip when the time comes to attack. Sainz warns that Gasly has a lot of pace.”

Lap 38: Hamilton is still stuck behind Albon and was unable to gain any ground.

On lap 40 Albon locks up into the first corner and goes wide, meaning a slow exit and an easy pass for 14th for Hamilton.

Lap 41: Hamilton puts an easy pass on Russell down the pits straight to take 13th.
Lap 42: Hamilton up to 12th by passing Grosjean into the first corner.
Lap 45: Hamilton takes 11th from Latifi.

From Lap 45 onwards Sainz was closing in on Gasly, the gap was 1.5s between them. Sainz was continuously pressurizing Gasly on each and every lap, but Gasly had decided he won’t let pass Sainz easily

On lap 50 Sainz complained about dirty air – he can’t quite get himself into DRS range. Gasly doing a superb job to keep enough of a gap enabling Sainz to use the DRS.

Hamilton’s done a superb damage limitation job in this race – now up to eighth and losing just six points to Bottas. Who is only 10s up the road.

Finally, Gasly holds him off and takes an incredible victory at the Monza GP.

Gasly, the 24-year-old Frenchman unceremoniously dumped by Red Bull 13 months ago, celebrated his maiden win with McLaren's Carlos Sainz and Racing Point driver Lance Stroll completing an improbable podium at Monza.

it means a lot to Gasly as he is the first French winner of a race since Olivier Panis in 1996.

See you next on 13 September at Mugello in Italy for Ferrari's 1,000th F1 race.

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About Author
Farzad Bhagat
Farzad Bhagat

It is said that Parsi's are born with a different vein for cars, however Farzad, was born with a different vein for F1. F1 is in his bloods, and he is someone who can constantly chatter about races and evolution of F-1. 

He started watching races in the early 2000's and has been an ardent Ferrari Fan, like any one of us. While, he has a soft spot for German Drivers, the best driver on the grid undoubtedly is legendary Micheal Schumacher 


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